The lessons that some teachers impart on their students extend well beyond the four walls of a classroom.
LaShonda Carter of Midlothian, Illinois is the sort of teacher who lives to support her students, even after they’ve graduated and moved on with their lives. LaShonda often keeps in touch with former students via Facebook , telling them that she’ll always have their backs if they need her help.
Larresha Plummer is one student who still knows she can count on her old teacher even though she graduated from LaShonda’s school three years ago. One night last week, LaShonda got a message from Larresha on Facebook.
Larresha had recently become a teen mom, and she’s taking care of her baby, Taliyah, all by herself. Larresha lamented the fact that she couldn’t find work and was having a hard time making ends meet. She said there was a job fair on Thursday, but she had no idea how to get herself and her infant daughter there on the city’s transit system.
“There was no way I would have let her take a baby in a bus, I told her right away that I would pick her up in the morning,” LaShonda said.
True to her word, the next morning LaShonda picked up Larresha and Taliyah and drove them to the job fair herself. She then sat with the baby in her car while the young mother went inside to look for work. As she sat in the car with the baby, LaShonda decided to record a quick video for her Facebook friends, expounding on her theory that “a teacher’s work is never done.”
“Sometimes as a teacher, our jobs go beyond the classroom… She’s a young teenage mom, and she needs some help,” LaShonda wrote. “I’m gonna do what I can, as much as I can as an educator.”
LaShonda says she wants to help remove the stigma of being a teenager mother. She hopes that sharing this story with the world will tell the world that life doesn’t end when you have your kids very young. Teen parents can, and do, go on to lead productive and successful careers.
“A teenage mother does not equal failure. So, I just begin to speak life into her and speak against the lies that the enemy is trying to flood her mind and to let her know that she can still be successful; there are people out there who will love and help her.”
LaShonda started a GoFundMe to help Larresha buy her daughter much-needed clothing and supplies. She also drove the little family to apply for public assistance (WIC) to ensure they’d both have enough to eat. She says that this simple act of goodness is nothing she wouldn’t do for any of her former students, and she hopes it inspires others to go above and beyond their own jobs to help others whenever possible.
“I believe every day, we get the opportunity to be someone’s miracle.”
Well done, LaShonda! Thank you for going out of your way to help Larresha get back on her feet.