Staff Spotlight – November 2019

Meet Ms. Jade’ Forde / Social Worker / KIPP DC College Preparatory

As students at KIPP DC develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence for success inside and outside of the classroom, they are supported by a diverse student support team comprised of mental health practitioners, special educators, and related service providers who promote their social, emotional, and behavioral well-being. Among them is Jade’ Forde, social worker at KIPP DC College Preparatory, and this month’s staff spotlight.

Ms. Forde joined KIPP DC in January 2019 after graduating from Frostburg State University with a bachelor’s in social work and The Catholic University of America with a master’s in social work. In pursuing social work both educationally throughout college and as a career, she was personally motivated by life experiences she encountered growing up in nearby Prince George’s County, Maryland. “I saw some of the trials and tribulations some of my family members went through within the foster system. I also went to three different high schools growing up. Both gave me insight into how family dynamics outside of school can factor into what’s going on inside, and I knew I wanted to be someone that could help people through similar situations.”

KIPP DC’s mental health team provides direct services to students and families, coach teachers on trauma-informed best practices, and connect families with wraparound services. In her role, she supports the academic and social-emotional success of students, specifically in relation to meeting their Individualized Education Plan goals, through inclusion, resource, and pull-out settings. Fundamental to her role is the ability to build personal connections and trust with students, ensuring they feel valued and heard.

“I’m a big believer in the power of relationship-building and getting to know another’s story, particularly as it relates to genuinely connecting with our students,” she said. “I try and build consistency each day by taking time to get to know their experiences outside of school. I think it lets them know that not only am I here, but that I care, and I want to know things like how their weekend was, how well did they sleep last night, or how it was getting to and from school that day.”

Student support and mental health services have been an area of increased focus and investment for KIPP DC, with the ecosystem of supports available to assist students growing vastly more robust than just a few years prior. For Ms. Forde, the daily ability to do her part in ensure our highest need students get the support they need to be successful is a source of tremendous pride and motivation.

“There is no better feeling for me than seeing the look on a student’s face and the confidence they build for themselves when they can overcome a challenge or solve a problem that they were having trouble with.”

Learn more about student support positions at KIPP DC and apply!

Posted on November 22, 2019 in Community