The MatchBack team would like to thank this generous MatchBack-er for her willingness to share the following story with our community.

 She notices.

 Again?

 Again.

 And it’s far too hot.

 Yes, something is not right—she is sure of it.

 Her mind races through the week. It’s been three days. No, four.

 She glances at the clock. Eleven minutes until class is over.

Having spent the better part of a decade teaching for one of the largest school districts in our nation, she’s met seemingly all iterations of the middle school student. Those students who ski in Aspen for winter break and those who didn’t eat dinner. Those who dream of Ivy League colleges and those who dream of a safe neighborhood. The bullies and the bullied. The wallflowers and the prom queens. And this is why she has remained all these years, dedicated “to be the person that [her] students need regardless of their situation.”

In her classroom, she is at the front lines. Oftentimes their foremost advocate, it’s “knowing [she] can help kids in need is what has made middle school [her] calling.” So on this particular day, when she notices one of her students has worn the same sweater for days on end, she knows they need to talk.

The sweater wasn’t a favorite. It wasn’t the only clean piece of clothing in the closet. Nor was it worn on repeat due to a case of stereotypical teenaged laziness. No, “it was because [the student] was trying to hide the scabs from cutting herself all over her body.”

Truly sobering, she later learns that if she “hadn’t have spoken to [the student] that day, [the student] was going to kill herself after school.”

Witness to such situations, she understands that the issues teens face at school and home are not to be trivialized. She knows that “when a student is having issues in life because of the clothes they are wearing, whether the reason is because they cannot afford the clothes they need or they are bullied because of the clothes they have, it’s a big deal.”

This is why she believes that “if something like buying a shirt for a kid to wear to school can help boost their self-esteem, or even keep the bullies at bay, it’s well worth the cost.”

An incredibly inspiring asset to our MatchBack community, it’s the real-life experiences from people like her that continually reaffirm our commitment to being a proactive force for good for all teens in need.