HSFPP Stories of Impact

Moving Beyond Generational Poverty

HSFPP Stories of Impact

real teachers real stories

by Pandora Fifer, Alternative Center Lead Mentor Teacher, Norfolk, Va.

Last year a student who I hadn't seen for a while showed up at my classroom door. This was a rough and tumble kid who had survived a tumultuous upbringing; moving from month to month, sleeping on friends' sofas, and visiting the food bank each week. I was so happy to see him … when he greeted me he said, "It's because of you that I am where I am today."

With my student population, which is strictly inner city kids, I always stress the importance of financial planning, banking and savings because most of these students come from generational poverty in families where they live paycheck to paycheck. This student told me that he had a job as a restaurant manager, had just signed his first apartment lease in his own name, and because of what I had taught him, had a savings and checking account, and was looking forward to settling down with his fiancé to begin their life. For the first time in his life he felt financially secure. His words to me as he gave me a huge hug were, "You never gave up on me."