Abeni Copeland is an aide at Ellis Elementary School.
“I enjoy working with kids and have a connection with them. I also didn’t have any teachers that looked like me.”
While that takes up a good amount of her free time, that’s not all she does with her days.
“I’m at Rockford University full time, so, Monday, Wednesday and Fridays I’m there like 10 – 4 p.m., but I try come to here in the morning time. Then Tuesday and Thursdays I’m here mainly all day.”
Abeni is working towards her teaching degree, and says the busyness right now is worth it.
“It’s just all, every day of the week, all year round, but I get charged up over that, so it’s refreshing to me.”
She’s right, because the Principal at Ellis already has her eye on Abeni.
“I’ve already been thinking of ways to use her in a full capacity.”
Principal Taren Turner says having someone like Abeni at their school is extremely important.
“Beni is a phenomenal contributor to the Ellis environment. She blends right in with our culture and climate. She has an amazing ability to build relationships with students.”
That sediment brings pride to those who have known Abeni her whole life, like Barbara King.
“She’s really a leader, I look at her as a leader, she has a really good feel for conflict resolution with children and adults, and she’s had to deal with both.”
Abeni Copeland, inspiring 815, one hour and one day at a time.
“She’s part of our family, and she’s already made an impact on the Ellis culture, so I do have plans.” said Turner.