A single mom has paid tribute to her former teacher by posting a photo on Facebook of him holding her toddler son before her graduation.
Kimmy Lopez, who is now 20, said she was an 18-year-old single mom living in a shelter when she enrolled in a Massachusetts summer re-engagement program that would allow her to get back on track and graduate.
During one of her summer classes, Kimmy said Tommy Guy, her education program coordinator, was captured in a photo holding her son Javiour, who was 10-months-old at the time.
She decided to post the photo on Facebook to thank Mr. Guy for contributing to her success and for being so kind to her and Javiour, who is now three.
"Some teachers go all out for their students, they will do just about anything to help you succeed!" she wrote on Facebook. "Teachers are your second parents."
In the days since her post went viral, Kimmy has said about how grateful she is to have had the experience. "Who would have thought that my post would attract thousands of people’s attention! The motivating and insightful comments are just wonderful. I am starting my journey in life at the age of 20 years old," she wrote.
She added in another Facebook post: "I am glad [my teacher] Mr. Guy got some recognition for it. He deserves the best. The Re-Engagement Team were my guardian angels my senior year. They were there for me 150%. They stood by my side and fought with me even on graduation day they STILL kept fighting for me. I am beyond thankful to have had this team in my life. I don't know where I'd be without them."
Tommy Guy told ABC News that he isn't surprised that Lopez has gotten as far as she has in such a short time.
"The first time I met her, I was very impressed with her," he said. "Even in the situation she was in, she was very positive. She was living in a shelter, a single mom with her son. She took advantage of everything she had, even thought it was a very tough spot."
"I knew when she left, I knew she was going to go on and do good things," Guy added. "I think she's a hero. She's someone that people could look up to."
Kimmy said since she graduated high school and completed her first semester at culinary school in Atlanta where she has secured her own apartment.
She said she has advice for any students in similar situations: "Good teachers exist, they want us to achieve excellence! And to teen parents, if you need help with school, let someone know what is going on. It will be the ones who you least expect that will help you the most.
"Keep your head up and stay positive, everything happens for a reason. But don’t get discouraged because of your situation either, everything has its time and place. Whatever you’ve asked for, will arrive at the right place and at the right time! I can preach from experience. Don’t give up!"