Spalding County

Ga. student didn't think he'd graduate, teacher proves him wrong

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia high school senior was brought to tears after his teacher surprised him with his cap and gown.

Jamias Howard, 19, is a student at Griffin High School and is absolutely ecstatic about this Saturday. Howard will be graduating high school.

Griffin High School special needs teacher Kimberly Wimbish tells Channel 2’s Kimberly Richardson that she was just doing her job, ensuring that all of her students succeeded. But to Howard, what she’s doing is far from that.

A semester before graduation, Howard was no longer able to make it to class. Wimbish wasn’t able to go into too many details as to why, but explained that he had some problems.

Devastated by the fact that Howard only had a handful of credits left to complete before graduation, Wimbish didn’t give up on him.


Each day after school, the Griffin High School teacher would volunteer her time and meet Howard after school. She met him at the park, Burger King … anywhere.

"Sometimes you have to meet them where they are to get them where they need to be,” Wimbish said.

Just based on the struggles Howard has had -- and dropout statistics -- Wimbish wanted to make sure he was going to finish. She wanted him to know that he was worthy of help and that someone was in his corner.

“I want so much for these babies,” Wimbish said. “They have to have a fighting chance.”

Wimbish says this is just what she does every day, but to the children – this is everything – and you can see that by watching a video Wimbish posted on her Facebook page Friday evening.

The high school teacher drove by Howard’s house and surprised him with his cap and gown. Howard had made it to the end and was going to be graduating.

Running to the car, Howard tells his teacher, “I love you so much.” And then she reminds him of when rehearsal is and starts to wipe tears from his eyes.

Howard will be graduating this Saturday at 9 a.m. at Griffin Memorial Stadium.

Wimbish set up a GoFundMe if you'd like to help Howard.

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