By Dana Kozlov

CHICAGO (CBS)–Hundreds of thousands of people saw the kindness of a Chicago-area teacher this week in a video posted on social media. 

“What is the heart of an educator?” That is a question that LaShonda Carter, a special education teacher at Chicago Excel Academy, asked on Thursday in a Facebook Live video.

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On Thursday, Carter, unable to sleep, noticed a new message on Facebook from a former student, 18-year-old Larresha Plummer.



(Photo: LaShanda Carter)Carter and Plummer met a few years ago at Harper High School in Chicago, where they bonded. The self-described troubled teenager turned to Carter for guidance

Plummer recently had a baby and needed help getting to a job fair. Carter immediately canceled her plans for the day and sat in her car outside the fair, with baby Taliyah nestled in her arms.

“She actually held me,” Plummer said, adding that the embrace was just the blessing she needed during the trying time in her young life.

“I love my students,” Carter said. “It goes outside the classroom.”

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Carter told CBS 2 that students need love and need to be nurtured, even after they leave school. Being part of their lives is a lifelong commitment she happily makes.

“I just need them to know, it’s not just a paycheck–you mean something to me,” Carter told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov on Friday.

Plummer is thankful for Carter’s support. “She’s a great person to have,” Plummer said. “She’s always going to be here.”

By early afternoon, Plummer discovered she had gotten one of the jobs she applied for. “I feel like she’s the reason it happened,” Plummer told CBS 2. “She is just a blessing.”

Carter has set up a GoFundMe campaign for Larresha and Taliyah. To donate, click here.


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CBS 2’S Dana Kozlov and Wendy Widom reported on this story.