It is commencement season. A strange one at that (thanks COVID).
Yesterday on Facebook, an amazing mom, woman + student I used to tutor at Benito Juarez High School in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago was featured on Dr. Lopez Quote of the Week. And guess what her name is... JACKIE!
There's something about us Jackies for real. We're all a little off but smart. Lol. I've researched it. I think I used a Jackie sample size of 10. Found out there's about a million ways to spell Jackie too. Jackie. Yackie. Jaci. Jacki. Jacque. Jacqui. YACCCKKIIEEE.
Anyway, I want to give THIS Jackie a plug in our Women Who Inspire blog, not just because of her amazing motherhood story, but also because she is a former student of mine turned friend. A mentee I will always be grateful I met.
My favorite story I have is from our Juarez days. It was one of the first times I noticed Jackie in class. Educators, I think you'll know what I'm talking about here. It was a day that students were presenting their science projects. Jackie was sitting there looking like she was imploding about something. You know those students you can tell have a lot going on in their heads but they're real quiet? These are sometimes also the students who aren't a fan of doing homework but ace all their tests so you think to yourself, "Okay....what's going on here?" That was Jackie. I noticed it in an instant and decided from that day forward that I'd try to get through to her specifically. I knew she had potential but was working through some things in that head of hers. And trying to do it quietly/alone (not good!)
Jackie and I eventually lost touch. I moved to the Virgin Islands that winter of 2011 so my Juarez days were cut short. But I'm happy to say that life is funny sometimes and will tend to reconnect us with people we're meant to reconnect with.
Jackie, I am so proud of you and I know P is too! Now here are Jackie's wonderful words that were featured on Dr. Lopez Quote of the Week:
Six years later A freaking roller coaster to say the least. I remember finding out I was pregnant my first semester at Saint Xavier University. I knew my life was going to change and I was going to have to step my game up. Some people encouraged me to think of my “future” and reconsider if keeping the baby was the right decision. MY HEART KNEW IT WAS! I would never leave my baby and I’m glad I didn’t. She’s been my fuel throughout this journey & through good and bad - MOMMY MADE IT - with you by my side.
Never in a million years would I have pictured studying abroad or even double majoring (insane). Your girl obtained her B.A. in both Criminology, Law, and Justice & Psychology.
A Master’s in School Counseling is the next move - but I put it in God’s hands because he’s really lit the way throughout these long and restless years. Lord, your plans are greater than mines will ever be - I trust YOU!