They say that a simple act of kindness can create a big difference in a person’s life. But despite already changing so many lives throughout her career as a teacher, Sonya Romero continues to go out of her way to ensure that the needs of her students are met.
The Inspiring Story of Albuquerque Teacher Sonya Romero
Romero teaches kindergarten at Lew Wallace Elementary in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Majority of her students belong to families that are struggling financially. But instead of giving up on these kids, Romero goes above and beyond to make sure that they are comfortable enough to focus on learning.
The story of Sonya Romero’s selfless crusade is nothing new for the faculty and students of Lew Wallace Elementary. The remarkable woman starts her day by asking her students a couple of unusual questions like if they have eaten their breakfast or they need anything to wear.
“When my students come in the morning, I ask if they’ve eaten breakfast. Once they’ve had their breakfast I just do an assessment of needs,” Romero told CNN. “I buy and keep in stock socks, jackets, scarves, hats, toothbrushes and snacks. I’ve done that since I started teaching. And over the years as the population has shifted, I’ve needed a lot more of those supplies.”
In a survey conducted by Share Our Strength in 2013, 73% of teachers have students that come to school with an empty stomach. Hunger can cause distraction and may lead to difficulty in learning. Teachers and principals often find themselves stepping in to pay for these children’s meals. But the sacrifice is all worth it after seeing their grateful smiles in the end.
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From kindergarten teacher to a foster mom
One night while Sonya was working late, she received a call from Child Protection Services. She was informed that two of her former students were in need of a temporary home. Romero did not hesitate to take them in. After speaking to her only son, Blaine, she invited the girls to come live with her. What was supposed to be just a 48-hour stay turned into a year until Romero eventually became their foster mom.
LA-based host Ellen DeGeneres flew Sonya Romero to her studios to speak to the inspirational teacher. She later revealed a special tribute video compiled by Romero’s own school. The short clip did not only bring Romero to tears but DeGeneres as well. It goes without saying that this woman embodies what it means to be a hero.