Enrolled in a re-engagement program in Springfield, Massachusetts, Kimmy Lopez was determined to complete her high school education. The young woman, however, had many obstacles to overcome.
She was living in a shelter and had a 10-month-old son. She couldn’t afford daycare for her child, and feared that her responsibilities as a parent would prevent her from getting her diploma.
But in a Facebook post this week, Lopez explains how one of her teachers went above and beyond to ensure that this worst-case scenario wouldn’t come to pass -- going so far to help care for the boy himself.
"[This] is my old teacher Mr. Guy … holding my 10 month old son while I was in class," Lopez wrote. "I had no daycare for my son. I thought it would stop me from finishing school but once I told the administrators my issue they told me to bring him to school with me. They set up a play pen in their office, brought toys and snacks for my baby, he even took my son to run errands with him, all so that I could come to school every day, study peacefully and focus on my books so that I graduate with my class."
Lopez juxtaposed a photograph of her teacher, apparently in his office, with a picture of Professor Sydney Engelberg comforting a baby during a lecture at Hebrew University. That photograph went viral earlier this year.
"Teachers are the real MVP," Lopez wrote. "Some ... go all out for their students, they will do just about anything to help you succeed!"
On Tuesday, Western Mass News identified the teacher in the photograph as Tommy Guy, an educator at Central High School.
According to the news outlet, Guy is known for his generosity and dedication to his students. He, for instance, has developed a reputation for personally seeking out people who have dropped out of school, and speaking to them about returning to graduate.
"Whether it’s going to pick a kid up to come to school or bring somebody home, it’s just something that he does," said Central High School principal Tad Tokarz.
A Facebook user named Myriam Garcia credits Guy as the reason her daughter, who has two children, graduated from Central High last year.
He "always encouraged her," she shared this week. "He’s a blessing."
As Lopez's story goes viral, liked by thousands on social media, Guy has downplayed his role in helping the mom, saying her child was a "piece of cake" to take care of.
"She was a very focused student," the teacher said of Lopez. "She knew what she wanted to do, so we wanted to help her the best way we could."
Lopez is reportedly now in culinary school, and lives with her son in Atlanta, Georgia.
In a follow-up video posted to Facebook Tuesday, Lopez reiterated her praise for Guy, and all the teachers at the re-engagement program she attended.
"They deserve this recognition," she said. "They go all out for their students. They are just amazing; they do so much. I wish I could give them the world."
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