CABOT, Ark. – A Cabot High School teacher was given a very special award for stepping in to heal a student’s heartbreak.
Normally, Life Impact Awards are given out in May before graduation. But since teacher Jenifer Mitchell recently announced she’s leaving after this semester, one of her students wanted to surprise her early.
You don’t see too many caps and gowns this time of year.
But for Cabot High School student Jazmyne Hendrix, her gratitude for teacher Jenifer Mitchell just couldn’t wait.
“I was totally caught off guard,” Mitchell said.
It was about this time a year ago when Jazmyne was a student in Ms. Mitchell’s class. A call to the office would change Jazmyne’s life forever.
“I had no idea and I felt like I had sent her to the lion’s den by herself and that hurt me,” Mitchell said.
Jazmyne’s mom, Kim, had passed away.
“You don’t understand what you have until it’s gone,” Jazmyne said.
The very same day, Ms. Mitchell sent a short email to Jazmyne checking in. Just 73 words made all the difference.
“Brokedown some more because it felt like I had someone else in my life that I could talk to,” Jazmyne said.
Ms. Mitchell was unaware that she would make that much of an impact on Jazmyne, just by sending her that simple email.
But their bond, a year later, would lead to a moment neither one of them will ever forget.
“She told me I was like her mom,” Mitchell said.
“She’s just so much like her in every way,” Jazmyne said.
It’s been a rough year for Jazmyne, seeing moms and daughters together.
“It just makes me think I don’t have that anymore,” she said. “But I do with her.”
Someone to help fill the mom-shaped hole in a student’s heart. Someone who goes above the call, earning more than 45 Life Impact Awards in her career.
“If I could just touch one student’s life, then I’ll have done my job,” Mitchell said.
No one can replace a mama, but for Jazmyne, someone sure comes close.
Jazmyne is doing very well for how much she has had to overcome. She’ll start college next semester to be a dental hygienist.
Ms. Mitchell is headed to work at UAMS. She’ll work with DNA to help doctors and researchers understand more about cancer.