2012 Workshop in Henderson, Kentucky - Story list

Miss Kim's kids

Lathan Goumas

IMG_0

Kim Fendrick (center) talks with Aalihah Utley, 8, (left), Amari Little, 6, and Atazia Little, 9, at the John F. Kennedy Center. Fendrick often is asked by the children to judge dancing and singing contests.

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.”

IMG_1

Kim Fendrick shares pictures on her phone with Trajdon Davis, 5, (left) and Amari Little, 6. Fendrick uses her phone to photograph activities at the John F. Kennedy Community Center and uploads them to Facebook.

IMG_2

Diamond McGuire, 9, partakes in one of the perks at the John F. Kennedy Community Center — nail painting from Kim Fendrick.

IMG_3

Kim Fendrick comforts Lebron Thomas, 6, after he got a scratch while playing at the John F. Kennedy Community Center.

IMG_4

Kim Fendrick takes in a basketball game that includes Areona Langley, 9. Langley is among the many children with which Fendrick has grown close at the John F. Kennedy Community Center.

IMG_5

Kim Fendrick and Amari Little, 6, take some time out from activities at the John F. Kennedy Community Center. Amari comes to the center with her older sister, Atazia Little, 9, after school.

Previous: Lost and Found | Story list | Next: Mr. Vincent's Vision

2012 Workshop in Henderson, Kentucky - Story list