Monday, December 27, 2010

Kami Craig returns to her alma mater for TeachersCount

Craig giving an interview at Santa Barbara High
On November 19, Kami Craig returned to her former high school, Santa Barbara High School to be honored by TeachersCount, a nonprofit organization that strives to acknowledge and promote the importance of teachers. Craig was recently the recipient of a campaign by TeachersCount known as "Behind Every Famous Person is a Fabulous Teacher". The campaign was created by Allen Kay, with help from other notable individuals including Laura Bush and America Ferrera. The purpose of the campaign is for celebrities or athletes to recognize one of their former teachers or mentors. Craig picked Debbie Penny, her high school resource specialist. Craig mentioned that Penny has a "special place in my heart", and was one of the first people to believe in her academically. Craig was also presented with a check from Staples Inc. for $1,000 that was donated to Santa Barbara High's special edition department. She described her experiences struggling in high school, including growing up with learning disabilities. Penny was able to work with Craig one-on-one and encourage her to attend a four-year university, which would eventually become USC. Penny recalls, "I remember she had gone to, I believe, Australia, and it was right before the finals, she took finals early and email and faxes assignments back early; she wanted it more than anything". Aside from her own personal encouragement, Craig stated that Penny made her feel more comfortable in terms of speaking about learning disabilities, which has enabled her to be a mentor to other kids. Staples has donated more than $18 million to schools and charities to promote learning assistance programs.

USA Water Polo was on hand at the event and has a video