I am a volunteer with Junior Achievement and have the pleasure of working with Ms. Hawkes class on Thursdays with a focus on choosing a career with purpose. I have observed her teaching and interacting with her class and her passion for empowering and inspiring these students is incredible. Many of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and struggled with their education. Through the support and teachings at the school, education levels have increased and more important, these students have hope and are planning for their future. They are learning about the various job groups, taking career assessments, visiting different places of business and attending events after school. While teaching in Ms. Hawkes class last week, a student came in to borrow a shirt. I asked why the student needed to borrow a shirt and Ms. Hawkes shared with me that she finds people to donate business clothes so every student can borrow business clothes to attend events. Her goal is to provide each graduating student with one complete business outfit so they can represent themselves well at colleges and job interviews. This is a teacher who truly cares, and her passion for teaching and helping each student succeed goes beyond the everyday role of teaching. She talks about real-life situations and goes above and beyond to provide these students with opportunity, self-esteem, tools for success and inspires them to continuously learn, seek opportunities and evaluate them to their values. Although this may not seem extraordinary to some, to meet her class and understand the challenges these young students have faced in their life and the bright future they now have ahead of them is truly inspirational. As a child, I remember one teacher who cared about me and taught me to believe in myself. His teachings, care and concern have been the pilot light of my success and when I see Ms. Hawkes, I know she is that same mentor and special person that will help to guide and change the lives of these students for many years to come. We need more dedicated teachers like Ms. Hawkes that go above and beyond for their students!