September 11, 2023

Sehba Shares: Celebrating our KIPPster’s Culture and Achievements

KIPP Texas Families, 

This week, I am excited to kick off the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, which is nationally recognized from September 15 through October 15. During this month-long celebration, our KIPP Texas communications team will highlight the achievements of Hispanic and Latine individuals inside and beyond our Team and Family who significantly contributed to Prosperity, Power, and Progress in our communities and our shared history.

KIPP University Prep Little KIPPster Alicia shares her experience of feeling more connected with her heritage while at school each day.

At KIPP Texas, more than 23,000 Little KIPPsters and their families identify as Hispanic or Latine. That’s 66% of our student body! There is so much to celebrate in their rich heritage and cultures. I can’t wait to see all of the classroom activities and school-wide celebrations this month in our brave and belonging spaces! 

Creating Brave and Belonging spaces within our halls and classrooms allows our KIPPsters to feel safe to be celebrated in their culture, work, and achievements. As I enter my 22nd year at KIPP, I find that our promise to our KIPPsters and their families, my relationships with Big KIPPsters, and the many inspirational Little KIPPsters that I have had the privilege to celebrate in their many achievements drive me daily in my work. This is my KIPP “why.”

Little KIPPster Dina in 5th grade at KIPP Heartwood Academy, third student to the right

Last week, one of the founding Little KIPPsters, Dina, from KIPP Heartwood Academy, the KIPP middle school I founded in San Jose, California as principal in 2004, asked me to attend her Ph.D. dissertation defense on the underground hospital system in Eritrea and its impact on the political climate. Watching Dina deliver her dissertation defense with the same passion and curiosity she had when she was starting fifth grade at KIPP Heartwood brought me so much joy. The type of immense joy that I cannot even put into words. KIPPsters like Dina get me up in the morning and make me want to do everything I can for our KIPPsters, even on the most challenging days. 

As we kick off week five of the school year, we will continuously push ourselves to meet our goals around excellence in achievement for every KIPPster we educate. This is the gold star, and it starts with setting a classroom and school culture around achievement. Dina has inspired me to push harder and Persist with Purpose so that all Little KIPPsters can achieve and have the confidence to reach for that Ph.D. if they choose. 

Families, let’s continue to be on time for school, showing up prepared each day, ready to achieve. It takes all of us to succeed, and I am confident that we will be On Our Way to A together! 


Today is also National Day of Service & Remembering 9/11. We honor and remember the victims, survivors, and the bravery of first responders who risked their lives to save others. Let us remember that even in the face of tragedy, our community demonstrated incredible strength and resilience. As we commemorate this solemn anniversary, we honor the memory of those we lost by renewing our commitment to creating a better, more just world.

With Gratitude,

Sehba Ali