teacher shanna peeples CBSvideo-640px

Shana Peeples, who teaches advanced English at Amarillo’s Palo Duro High School, has done wonders for kids who might normally remain invisible, both inside and out of the classroom.

Viet Tran, 21, a former student now studying neurobiology on a scholarship to Harvard, who came to the U.S. in 1998, told the AP that he wouldn’t be where he is today without Peeples’ help. Peeples has a history of personally convincing immigrant families like Tran’s to allow their children to stay in school instead of forcing them to quit and work instead. She has also encouraged teens to pursue college education instead of settling for “dead-end jobs.”

Additionally, her experience growing up with an often dysfunctional family has also helped her connect with children who have come to Texas from war-torn countries like Somalia, Ethiopia and Iraq.

Peeples will spend the next year attending 150 events and speaking about how poverty affects education in America.

“A lot of Americans don’t understand how hard it is to try to learn when you’re hungry, or when you’re sick and can’t afford to go to the doctor, or when you have to move out of your home in the middle of the night because you can’t afford the rent,” she told the AP.

Shana Peeples said on CBS This Morning, the most exciting thing about being a teacher is that “you can help write the end of the story for every kid.”

(WATCH the video below from CBS or READ more from AP)

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