Nadirah Muhammad is not just a teacher, she is a hero. She donated one of her kidneys to save the life of her 18-year-old student, A’Ja Booth, who had been suffering from kidney failure since she was 10 years old.
A’Ja Booth was a dance student at West Side Academy, an alternative high school in Detroit, where Nadirah Muhammad taught physical education and health. One day, Muhammad noticed a book that A’Ja had written, titled “My Dialysis Journey”, where she described her painful and exhausting experience of undergoing dialysis for four hours, three times a week.
Muhammad was moved by A’Ja’s story and decided to get tested as a potential donor. To their surprise, they were a perfect match. Muhammad did not hesitate to offer her kidney to A’Ja, who had been waiting for a transplant for eight years.
The surgery took place on December 15, 2014, at Henry Ford Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. It was a success and both donor and recipient recovered well. A’Ja returned to school in May 2015, where she was greeted with a red carpet and cheers from her classmates and teachers. Muhammad was by her side, holding her hand.
A’Ja said she was very thankful and blessed to have Muhammad as her second mother. She said Muhammad was a wonderful woman who gave her a new chance to live. Muhammad said she did not do it for the accolades, but because she saw a human being in need. She said she loved A’Ja as her own daughter.
Nadirah Muhammad is an example of selflessness and compassion. She is not only an educator, but also a lifesaver. She deserves to be celebrated for her generosity and courage.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for a kidney transplant, and 13 people die each day while waiting. The average waiting time for a kidney transplant is three to five years. Living donation can shorten the waiting time and improve the outcomes for the recipients.
Nadirah Muhammad has also achieved other remarkable feats in her life. She is a marathon runner who has completed 26 races in 26 states. She is also a breast cancer survivor who beat the disease in 2012. She is an inspiration to many people who face challenges in their lives.
Ever heard of Eric Hale? He is the first Black man to win the prestigious Texas Teacher of the Year award, which has been recognizing outstanding educators in the state since 1969. He is also the first Black man to win the Region 10 Elementary Teacher of the Year award, which covers 80 school districts in north central Texas.
Hale teaches kindergarten and first grade at David G. Burnet Elementary School in Dallas, where 98% of his students are Hispanic and most are living at poverty level. Many are first-generation Americans who face challenges such as language barriers, food insecurity, and lack of technology. But Hale does not let these obstacles stop him from providing his students with a high-quality education that prepares them for success.
Hale has a unique and innovative style of teaching that incorporates music, rap, and technology to engage his students and make learning fun. He also fosters a culture of excellence and high expectations in his classroom, where he calls his students “scholars” and challenges them to achieve their full potential. He has achieved remarkable results with his students, who have scored an average of 95% passing on all exams in the last five years. Continue reading here.