Helen Hawkins is a well respected educator in Chicago. She not only is the founder of Olive Harvey Middle College (A school designed to help Chicago Public high school dropouts earn a Diploma and not a GED) but she also started the Grammar school that I graduated from. Triumphant Charter School used to be located at 4935 S. Seeley in the Back of The Yards neighborhood on Chicago's southside. It modeled the makeup and philosophy of Olive Harvey Middle College, with it's mixed classes of 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders. Instead of being called a "Student" every child was referred to as a "Scholar", and treated as such. The atmosphere of the school was more like a family re-uniting everyday than attending school. And just like every family has a "Mother", Ms. Hawkins was ours. Ms. Hawkins was Sweet, but tough and she always let you know she was In-Charge. Last week I was invited to a Group on Facebook "Ms. Helen Hawkins Saved MY LIFE. What about you?" Upon entering the group I saw a lot of statements that were off. It asked for us to Support Ms. Hawkins at The Federal court building. 2. Ms. Hawkins was the one being prosecuted. Google bought me back up to speed about that situation.
I salute Ms. Hawkins regardless of her mistakes. Because for many years before she gave so many of us hope. She allowed many children from the worst parts pf the city to travel around the world for a little bit of nothing. It was her school that inspired me to write. They wouldn't let me write for the school newspaper and I took into my own hands to write, edit and distribute a weekly newspaper. The encouragement to succeed was inspiring and for that I will forever Salute ms. Helen Stanton-Hawkins.