Former BELC Student Returns as Assistant Teacher 20 Years Later

When Kirby walked into the Bronx Early Learning Center (BELC) on his first day as an Assistant Teacher, it wasn’t his first time entering the school. In fact, he had been there many times before—as a student more than twenty years ago.

Kirby was first enrolled at the BELC, our special education preschool program, as a shy three-year-old with speech delays and other early learning challenges. His time at the school was life-changing, thanks to one special teacher, Marisol Morales, who was patient and went above and beyond to help him come out of his shell. She not only taught him basics—things like colors and numbers—she helped him gain the confidence he needed to eventually achieve his dreams.

Kirby feels lucky to be able to give back to the school that helped him so much, and to reconnect with his old teacher, Ms. Morales. He loves using his early experience as a way to connect with the children (he sees himself in every single one of them), and whenever he has doubts about anything—like how best to help a student with his or her particular challenges—Ms. Morales is always there to give him advice.

“I’ve come such a long way since I was that shy toddler all those years ago,” Kirby says “and I owe so much of my success to The Bronx Early Learning Center and, in particular, my favorite teacher, Ms. Morales.” 

Watch this video to learn more about Kirby's story. 

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