Miss Kim's kids
story by Lathan Goumas
Kim Fendrick is the mother of two: Jay, 29, and Mia, 21. But "Miss Kim" has many more kids than just her son and daughter.
For 15 years, Kim has worked at the John F. Kennedy Community Center in Henderson, becoming a second mother to hundreds of children who have spent time there.
"Her positive influence can bring out the best in people," says Alvin Haygan, 28, who grew up going to the JFK Center.
Kim, 46, spends most of her time with the kids during an after-school program that she helped design. She likes to create activities that allow children to both learn and have fun, such as cooking or drawing.
"I come from structure and discipline," she says. "They need to learn consistency."
Kim has remained close to many of the "kids" she has worked with over the years, becoming a friend and trusted confidant.
"She is like my second mom,” says Cedrick Harris, who grew up going to the center and still stops by frequently.
Cedrick now coaches the girls’ basketball team at Jefferson Elementary School. Several team members go to the center, and Kim shows her support for them by attending as many games as she can.
Having grown up as an only child, Kim was drawn to early-childhood education. Before working at the JFK Center, she spent 10 years working as a teaching assistant for preschool and kindergarten classes.
"I keep trying to teach them to give back," she says. "My kids have got to be taken care of.”