Humans of NTN: Jen Benkovitz, NTN Director of School Leadership
“I remember struggling with John Foster. I saw in him this incredible opportunity to be a leader but I had underlying frustration when he wouldn’t show up to school. I made the decision to go visit his house and meet his family.
Where I taught in Charlotte was a very impoverished neighborhood, which was different than where I grew up. I remember going into John’s neighborhood and he was outside playing. He was floored that his teacher showed up! I spent a lot of time that afternoon with him and his mom. I learned she was a single mom, working multiple jobs. It was life changing for me.
I realized there were so many kids just like John. It reinforced the importance of really knowing the students you are working with in a way that can help bring meaning into their lives. It became how I did things.”