LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Keishia Thorpe

Position: Twelfth Grade Teacher / Track & Field Head Coach
School: International High School Langley Park
School District: Prince George's County Public Schools
City, State: Bladensburg, MD

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Keishia Thorpe is the 2018-19 LifeChanger of the Year Grand Prize Winner. She was nominated by her sister, Dr. Treisha Borris.

Ms. Thorpe has personified what it means to be a LifeChanger. Being chosen as the Grand Prize Winner in 2019 has only put her in beast mode. In winning the Grand Prize, she promised to use the award to further her professional development so that she could be in a position to not just impact students’ lives in the classroom, but overall.  She has her goal on a Post-It on her computer:  “I became a teacher because I want to prepare students for college and to change their future.  I want to become a principal to prepare them for the rest of their lives and to change their world.”

She has stayed true to her commitment.  After returning from Hawaii, instead of celebrating, she enrolled in a university, invested the monetary award in leadership courses, and later served as a principal intern at her school.  This was very challenging for her, as she had to play dual roles with still teaching her full scheduled classes.  It became even more challenging when COVID-19 hit.  However, she was able to persevere and successfully serve out the term of her internship to receive her Administrative I and II principal license.  

Ms. Thorpe believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected." During her internship period, she took the opportunity to be an instrumental part of creating a school resource center that would provide for the essential needs of students and families in the community. She organized a 2020 Census community forum in collaboration with the PGCPS census education team, representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau, and council members.  She was also a part of the school’s Steering Committee, which was instrumental in providing support and connecting families and students to community resources, especially during the pandemic. In addition, she created partnerships with the Mayor's office and various council members to create additional opportunities for her students.  Recently, she was asked to serve as the PGCEA Community School Liaison as part of the PGCEA coordinating committee “to help establish success for the school system’s community schools model.”

2020 was a critical year for the Censu. Even with the impact of COVID-19, she continued the work in her school community by teaming up with the senator, the mayor’s office, and other council members every weekend to canvas the hard-to-count communities in which her students and their families reside. Her goal was to register the residents to be counted. She also wanted to dispel misinformation that put the immigrant community into fear of being counted. Federal funds from the Census contribute to the quality of education students in her school community receive, so it was important to her to help everyone to be counted.  She also enlisted the help of her students who speak different languages to help with translation and to make the families feel comfortable to register.

With her help and that of her students, the response rates in the school community increased drastically to 70%, which is higher than the previous census, despite the challenges of the pandemic.  Since the census and the elections processes overlapped, Keishia was doing doubles on weekends and evenings in her school community.  She joined the Michelle Obama Campaign, When We All Vote to ensure families in her school community were educated about the voting process.  Her efforts included setting up voter registration booths, canvasing communities, and going door to door to make sure families receive voter information and to register those who were eligible, to vote.

Ms. Thorpe teaches at a wonderful high school with a student population that is largely English Language Learners.  Most of her students struggle with writing and speaking the English language fluently.  She developed “The Playbook”, which is a scaffold writing guide, as a way to help her ELL students develop into great writers.  She has seen the majority of her ELL students move from writing one paragraph to an entire essay as a result.  She was also invited to share The Playbook at two College Board AP Annual Conference and at her school district’s Summer Institute to help other teachers of ELL students to better support their writing.  In addition, her AP Capstone Seminar ELL students, despite their challenges with writing in English and their language barrier, received exam scores that were above the state and global averages for their AP Capstone Seminar Team Multimedia Presentations.  This is the first group of senior students in the school to ever take an AP English course.  Even though it can be challenging at times for her and her students, she is constantly preparing them with the skills necessary to prepare them for college and the real world.  She feels the need to ensure they are very equipped with the skills they need as she is a 12th-grade teacher and one of the last teaching experience they will encounter before entering into the next phase of their lives.  For her students, this is important, because the majority of them are immigrants and will be the first in their families to go to college.  She has also organized portfolio presentations and exhibitions at the school, inviting parents and community members into her classroom to showcase her students’ work and their progress so students can be proud of their achievements. She thinks this is also a great way to get parents involved in their children’s education. 

Additionally, as an AP Advocate representing the state of Maryland, Keishia took several of her students with the to the House of Representatives to testify for the Governor to support the legislation for the AP Opportunity Act of 2020.  This legislation will support funding for AP exams, ensuring that low-income students in Maryland including the students she teaches can have access to Advance Placement courses to increase their chances of going to college and receiving scholarships.  Because of her commitment to students and advocacy, she was chosen by College Board as one of twenty teachers across the U.S. to participate in Federal AP Week to speak with Federal House and Senate members to expand educational opportunities for students. As an American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Teacher Leader Ambassador, she took time to participate in the AFT TEACH Lobby Day to talk to Congress and their staff about funding the future of education.  She is constantly doing the work necessary in helping students to realize their dream of college, moving them one step closer to closing generational and educational gaps.

Ms. Thorpe not only reaches her students in the classroom, but she finds ways to make sure their needs are being met as well.  Many of her students and their families have struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, many students have to work and miss days in school, while some just struggled because of the nuances of remote learning.  When she realized that calling home daily and multiple times would not necessarily yield the kind of results she would like, she began to schedule conferences with students and parents and started a points system for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) using Class Dojo to award students extra points for showing up to class.  In addition, there was a school survey for students who needed assistance during the holidays.  She saw some of her students on the list and over the Thanksgiving break, she partnered with community organizations and donated over 15 boxes of groceries, which she personally delivered to her students and their families.  She later partnered with another organization to donate 15 large boxes of groceries and produce to her students and their families for Christmas. This was an opportunity for her to see and connect with some of her students she did not even know and to build relationships.

Ms. Thorpe has also been actively involved with the LifeChanger of the Year organization.  Her relentlessness allowed her to continue to impact students’ lives in a major way.  She developed a safe school initiative, which she shared with the National Coalition of Safe Schools. She also shared her proposal with her school principal and Associate Superintendent who approved of it.  This proposal was to give students a seat at the table to have a voice in school safety planning and in establishing safety protocols, in an effort to minimize the impact that high crisis situations have on them.   She also proposed the topic of “Teaching to the Whole Child” to Life Changer of the Year Teacher Talk Series and served as a panelist of the webinar to educate teachers about what teaching to the whole child would look like during remote learning, a new platform for most teachers.

Furthermore, her commitment to helping students accomplish their American dream and advocating for students to pursue a tertiary level education, goes far beyond the wall of her school and the boundaries of her school district.  Along with using her prize money to complete her leadership endeavors, she also used a portion of it to fund a scholarship convention in Jamaica, her native country. She helps disadvantaged students with whom she identifies to receive the opportunity to earn scholarship awards to study in a college or university in the U.S. since there are not many opportunities for students when they leave high school and those below the poverty line are mostly of school age. To assist with her initiative, she even applied for and was granted sponsorship from the National life Be Good Foundation to host the event.  The convention turned out close to 300 participants and scholarships were awarded to several students on the spot, of whom are now enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.  The convention theme “Imagine your future” was inspired by the LCOY award event to inspire the next generation of college students. 

Her reach is always far and wide.  She cares about all students and not just those she teaches which makes her impact in changing lives even greater.  She is changing lives at home and across the world.  In light of all the challenges her students and other students across the world are facing, due to COVID 19 and the anxiety about their future, Ms. Thorpe organized her annual scholarship convention virtually over the course of six weeks to ensure students were able to have access to resources to still prepare for college and their future.  She collaborated with teachers from her school, her county, across the U.S. and other countries to make it possible.  The six weeks long virtual convention staged two education forums to talk about the state of education and the transition to college during the pandemic, SAT prep classes, a college prep webinar with a college admission representative, high school counselor, NCAA Compliance, and scholarship organizations to give students and families information and updates on the college matriculation process and the revised college admission and NCAA requirements due to COVID 19.  The culminating event was a college fair of representatives from junior colleges to Ivy League colleges, twenty in total including four from other countries.  Students had an opportunity to participate in small breakout rooms to engage and speak with college representatives about scholarships and other information.  To top off each event, she teamed up with guest speakers from her school county, prominent universities, authors, and U.S. and World re-known Olympians to be guest speakers to motivate and inspire students during these uncertain times.  They brought home the theme of this year’s convention, “Be the change you want to see in a changing world”, challenging students to not give up even though the future looks uncertain. This virtual event also went on nationally syndicated radio in Jamaica, live on Youtube and Facebook, and attracted an unexpected global audience from countries such as Anguilla, St. Lucia, Kenya, Guyana, Jamaica, Bahamas, India, Peru, Barbados, Columbia, Canada, the United States, and others.  Many students from those countries are still in contact with Keishia, hoping to receive her help to get into a U.S. college and obtain a debt-free education to be able to help their families. Ms. Thorpe is doing great work with her students in the classroom while using her nonprofit organization as a vehicle to also reach other students from disadvantaged backgrounds to live out their dreams of pursuing a tertiary level education.

With all of that, she still finds time to collaborate with another Life Changer who is working on a project to help students in Honduras.  For the past year, she has to lead a Jeans and Tees campaign and partner with a sporting good company, collecting outerwear items for the students in Honduras.

This past summer in particular, while teaching summer school, Ms. Thorpe took time out to work with the United Nations Association of the USA, National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) to pass legislation.  As part of the UNA-NCA Advocacy Committee, she took lead in organizing her team to lobby Congressman Don Beyer, Congressman Anthony Brown, and other members of Congress to support passing the H.Con.Res.100, a resolution introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee, which calls for the formation of a U.S. Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission. The legislation was eventually passed.  This she hopes will help to create a more level playing field and a better society from which especially her immigrant students will later benefit.

"She has accomplished all of this in only a year and a half while also being a single mother going through the challenges of the pandemic with her child," Dr. Borris said. "For all these reasons and more, she deserves a re-nomination as Life Changer of the Year.  In recognition of her work, she was nominated by the mayor’s office for the Global Teacher Prize.  She was also acknowledged with the Lead by Example Award and the second recipient of this behind Congressman Steny Hoyer.  She is the epitome of a LIFECHANGER.  Changing lives beyond the school walls, that is a Life Changer!  Imagine the lives she will continue to change in the future.  Her journey has just begun!"

Comments (107)

Kayla Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is a great teacher and support. She introduced me to AP courses that I never thought I could do and she has given me the skills that have helped my writing become stronger and show my voice. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe!

Gizani Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe has always been very kind and helpful to my family. She has also helped open up academic opportunities for me. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe!

Olivia Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. She contributed so much to my learning and I can’t thank her enough. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe!

Jeffrey Bermúdez Posted over a year ago

In ELA class I have learned about myself and others that we can do things that are difficult to do and learn how to be better in our reading. This class helps me to improve things I didn’t know. At the beginning of this class, it helped me to be more social in class. Ms.Thorpe teaches us how to be responsible people in my work and get more ideas in our own words. All that I learned in Ms.Thorpe's class will help me to prepare for my future, to put all my best effort into all the things that I want. Some skills that I learned in her class and will help me in my life is time management and being organized.

Arnold Reyes Posted over a year ago

In your class, I have learned about myself that in life you have to be patient and sure of yourself. You just can’t give up. Just because you had a bad day or something like that you have to believe in yourself. Never quite. Since this class started I've been getting a lot of positive things about the real world(life). For example managing time I was so bad at managing time but at the end of the day, I've been doing better for you.

Arnoldo Posted over a year ago

Congrats on your nomination! You’re one of the most capable people I know. Keep up the good work.

Keidy Espinoza Santos Posted over a year ago

Congrats!! Ms. Thorpe.

Osmar Posted over a year ago

Congradulations Ms. Thorpe I hope you win!!. God bless you in this journey!!.

K Posted over a year ago

Hope you win, you have worked so hard!

IHSLP Student, Sugey Juarez Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms. Thorpe!!! I hope you win because you deserve it! You are a really hard worker and a powerful woman. A big example for us.

Maria Motta Posted over a year ago

Congratulation! you are great teacher.

Marcela Flores Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe is a great woman. Every time in class, she always pushes me and my peers to be better, and to challenge ourselves. She always remind us that we always can. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe, hope you win, you deserve it!.

David C. Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is a great teacher and support. She introduced me to AP courses that I never thought I could do and she has given me the skills that have helped my writing become stronger and show my voice. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe!

Milagros Posted over a year ago


Zerubbabel w. Posted over a year ago

ms.Thorpe class teach me about who I am and that who I am in this country as an immigrant and how to classify myself and who I supposed to be tomorrow in my life. Basically, she opens my eyes to see my real personality in the US. The thing I learned from ms.Thorpe also how to Survive in the college process and how to stay mentally strong. Thank you for the lessons.

Wendis Fuentes Posted over a year ago

I have learned from Ms.Thorpe is that I can do things that I never imagined that I would do. Sometimes we have great potential hiding inside of ourselves. In her class I have learned a lot of positive lessons that have a positive impact on my life because I learn that we have to fight for what we want no matter how difficult it is. I have the potential of being what I want. In the beginning, it would be difficult and I have to learn how to deal with that or how to overcome it. Because of Ms. Thorpe's class I am preparing myself for colleges or the real world because she teaches us how the real world works. We cannot sit back and wait for what will happen in our life, we have to create our future. I learn how to be more responsible with my work and always give more priority to things that are going to help me in my future. I appreciate that Ms. Thorpe.

Freni Williams Posted over a year ago

I think we all learn about our identity in Ms. Thorpe's class. Learning about my identity and myself is that when I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone I achieve better things than when I conform myself with regular work. I have also found out something very weird which is that I work better and I tend to think more fluently when I'm under pressure. What I learned is preparing me for college because in college we will be under a lot of pressure and responsibilities and I feel that each day Ms. Thorpe class is helping me get used to that. Some skills I have gained is listening carefully to the instructions and the most important thing I have learned is that it's about quality and not quantity. I am constantly learning in her class.

Sugey Juarez Posted over a year ago

For the first time, in Ms.Thorpe’s class I learn more about my identity that for every problem there will be a solution, to keep going and to not be stuck in problems, as well as to find a more quick solution for every problem. I learned that I am capable of achieving things because when I was behind in her class, she helped me by explaining to me the topic. This allowed me to recover myself and keep my work on time. She is teaching us how to be organized with our work and I believe that is essential and will impact my future. The things that I’m learning in Ms. Thorpe's class are preparing for college because her class is teaching me how to write more clear paragraphs, how to paper cited my work, and how to find evidence for my topic. Her teaching will allow me to be more prepared for college and have fewer obstacles for my learning. Some skills that I learn from her that will change my life will be to think positively and be organized. Because I think Emotional status had a big impact on a student's life according to being able to learn better. Her class has a positive mantra we say which helps a lot to focus on learning.

Karen Aleman Posted over a year ago

I have learned about myself and my identity in Ms. Thorpe's class and that I’m capable of drastically changing for the better if I want to and If I try my best. Also that if I challenge myself I can improve as a person and a student. What this class has also taught me is that perseverance definitely gives you positive results in life. She makes me feel that I can become the person I want as long I get the work done. In addition to that, the most important thing I have learned is that I have to advocate for myself and read the directions given in every assignment because it’s my responsibility to try to understand them before asking for help. What I just said before can have a positive impact on my college life because in college I will have to read a lot of directions when it comes to work assigned. Everything I have listed before can help for college and real-life because of Ms. Thorpe, I have already applied them. Some skills I have acquired in this class and will change my life are perseverance and dedication.

Marcela Flores Posted over a year ago

In Ms. Thorpe’s class, what I’ve learned about myself is that finding the easy way out of a problem is not a solution that will help me succeed. If I want to be better and grow as a person, I have to push myself harder every day, even if I get things wrong, I have to keep trying until I get them right because that is what life is all about, about keeping yourself in the way that will get you to where you want. I have learned basically a lot of skills of how to improve on my work, in my writing, and in my thinking. The things that I learn in Ms. Thorpe’s class will prepare me for college because it’s all about pushing myself, and college and the real world will not be easy but I can’t just quit on everything I have been working hard for. One of the skills that I’ve learned from her and will change my life forever, is time management. If I manage my time I will definitely get my stuff done on time, and deal with my responsibilities in peace with no pressure.

Keidy Espinoza Posted over a year ago

In Ms. Thorpe's class I have learned more about myself in the way that I challenge myself doing things that I was not able to do before. For example in the assignments, some of them were challenging to me because it was new for me to do things, like interviewing people or trying to do all the work on time. This helps me to know that if I try and try, you can do it. A positive lesson that I learned in Ms. Thorpe's class made me grow as a person in the way that if I want something I have to go for it, not wait for things to come to me, that I have to find a solution, not make excuses.

Osmar Rodriguez Posted over a year ago

I had learned many things from Ms. Thorpe. I have learned how to improve my work well. All of this is because we are preparing ourselves for college. I am preparing myself for the real world. Learning every day from her and other teachers. I learned that you have to search for information about the topic. This means that by searching you learn about the topic. In other words, I am learning more than what I know about the topic. I am digging deeper into the topic. After all that work that you have done on many topics and information, that I have collected, it makes my life easy for the real world. Also by knowing how to work in this way makes you an excellent person in life. It makes you successful in life. No matter what is the way for your dreams I don’t have to stop. She teaches us to follow our dreams.

Maria Motta Posted over a year ago

In Ms. Thorpe’s class feel like I can give more, that I am capable of pushing myself even further because sometimes I do not try hard enough and thanks to this class I learned that when I do something bad or not good enough I have to go and fix it and not just go on without caring. Some positive lessons that I have learned are that sometimes I write a lot of explanations in my work or I try to fill it with a lot of information when in reality what really matters is the quality of the work, even if it is less, but with great information and quality then that is the correct way. She makes me pay attention to my work which is good. Also, when I feel with lack of positivity in my life I come to this class, and I was able to understand that I am capable of leaving many problems aside while I prepare for my future. This class is preparing me for college by teaching me to always check and make sure that I am doing my best and that my work is the best I can give. One thing that I learned that will change, my life is to never settle for less, if I know I deserve more or need to give more, then I will. Thank you Ms. Thorpe

Sofia Guillen Reyes Posted over a year ago

In ELA class I have learned about myself that I can do things that I thought I wasn't able to like interviewing a person, a total stranger. Also, I have learned that if I am really committed to something like getting my grades up then I can do it even if it seems hard and impossible. I have learned that with support and help I can be successful in school and in life if I seek opportunities and if I give more than my best. From my identity I have learned that every culture and every race deserves the same respect, every religion and tradition also deserves the same respect. From my own identity I have learned that I am a different person and that my family and friends respect that about me, they don´t judge my decisions or the way I dress and how I act. I have learned that every person is different and every person has their own identity that makes them who they are, and we must respect others to receive the same respect. We learn so much not just about academics in Ms. Thorpe's class but she helps us to discover our true identities and that means a lot to me.

Carolina Lazo Posted over a year ago

In Ms. Thorpe's class I have been learning a lot of things about history, writing, speaking but something important that I have learned is about myself at the beginning of the year we learn about identity and for the first time a make a list of all my qualities, what is good and what is not good and that is what makes me be the way that I am where I am from my culture, my fights, my weakness, what makes me feel strong and what I am proud of during this time. I can say that I feel more confident about myself because I never make time to know myself, something very important because is about you and who you are and what pushes me every day, Since that lesson I have been thinking more about myself more than ever.

Brenda Bonilla Posted over a year ago

Something important that I´ve learned about myself and my identity in Ms.Thorpe´s class is that I can do more than I thought I could do. A positive lesson that I have learned is that you have to see the positive things in life, no matter what you're going through, you have to keep going and do your best. What we learn in Ms.Thorpe? class help us prepare for the real world because she makes us see the reality of things and it makes us think about what we want to do with our life. Some skills that I have gained are that I need to be more responsible and on time in order to do better. I have also learned to be more outgoing and do not be shy. This is life-changing for me. Thank you.

Reem Alobaid Posted over a year ago

I have learned a lot of things about myself and my identity in Ms. Thorpe’s class like I have to be who I am because I am and I am not different than anyone. Also, she makes writing a lot easier for me because English is my second language that I have to read and understand what I'm going to write about and take note of the important events in a story and use different colors for each event. This makes it easier for me to remember and easier to write an essay or reflect on what I have read. Positive lessons I have learned in her class that can have a positive impact on my life is that I can overcome things even if there are a lot on me. I have to talk when I need help or misunderstand. Being active in class helps me to be more open to society. The things I learn in Ms. Thorpe’s class will prepare me for college and the real world. I have to be responsible and careful for all things I need to do because that will help me to make my life easier. Also, be the person who is comfortable to share ideas in her class helped me to prick my shyness.

Parent Posted over a year ago

I know Ms. Thorpe because she taught my child. If anything I can say about her is that she really pushes students to do their best. She sets her expectations very high and does not compromise and that's why she gets such good results out of her students. She is always making sure she calls every student's home to give not just negative reports like most teachers, but making positive calls as well. I remember the first time I received a positive call celebrating my child was from her. My child always does well in school and does not have behavior issues, so no teacher ever called me. I really appreciated it when she called to just let me know how proud she is of my child. She is always trying to find ways for parents to get involved with her classroom. She has portfolio exhibitions and invites parents in so students present to them. That was one of my proudest moments, because I never really had that opportunity to be involved not just with my child, but her peers. I wish more teachers would get parents involved and invite them into their classroom to observe their child's accomplishments. She continues to surprise me with her dedication to her students and her job. She finds time to make sure she connects with all the student's families and during the pandemic, she started delivering groceries and produce to students homes during the week and on weekends. I do not know where she gets the time to do all the things she does, but she is making it happen. We all are so proud of her and hope that she wins. She is truly a life changer. Our students and community is lucky to have her. Congratulations again. Good luck Ms. Thorpe! You deserve it.

Summer Johnson Posted over a year ago


Karen A Mitchell Clemm Posted over a year ago


Sarah Kerr Posted over a year ago

Wow, you are accomplishing so much! Congratulations!

Anna Skarbek Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! Well deserved!

Derrell Owens Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! Thank you for all that you do to support our students!

deborah love Posted over a year ago


Juanita L. Smith Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, Ms Thorpe! Be Blessed and Stay Safe Always!

Stephanie Carson Posted over a year ago

It is SO refreshing to see your dedication and commitment as an educator! Please continue to let your light shine to inspire others.

Kim Corprew Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments!

Kevin Thompson Posted over a year ago


Marguerite Morman-Matthews Posted over a year ago

Congratulations to you Keisha Thorpe for all your achievements and endeavors, in the classroom and on the track. You inspire others to do well. Margo School Counselor Glenarden Track

Dr. Michelle H. Pegram Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe, Congratulations and keep striving in excellence. #PGCPSProud

Alma Ezell-Lawson Posted over a year ago


Traci Finley-Jeffreys Posted over a year ago


Felixberto Lazaro Posted over a year ago


Dana Posted over a year ago


Shawna Fagbuyi Posted over a year ago


Elizabeth Saunders Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on all of you hard work!

Jerome Forbes, District Superintendent Posted over a year ago

I came to know Ms. Thorpe due to her participation in the Cat Island Earth Day Celebrations. These celebrations became the catalyst for the beginning of an exchange program between the students of Cat Island, The Bahamas, and the students of Columbia Heights Education Campus, Washington, D.C. Ms. Thorpe became one of the mentors of the program and would serve as a cultural ambassador and chaperone for the students who came to and the Cat Island students who traveled to Washington, D.C. As a Principal of Old Bight High School during that time (2012-2017), I can attest to the fact that it was because of Ms. Thorpe’s effort that our school became successful and was highlighted nationally for our accomplishments. Ms. Thorpe hosted workshops for the Physical Education teacher and was an inspiration to my athletes. She was able to inspire them by introducing scholarship possibilities. Most of them began to take athletics seriously and went on to represent the school at a national level. One of the contributions that Ms. Thorpe made to our school which changed the landscape of Cat Island and the Bahamas in general was her assistance with the establishment of our College Board AP Program. Cat Island is one of the 700 Islands of The Bahamas’ archipelago. At the time, AP was only offered in private schools in the well-developed capital of New Providence and Grand Bahama. Due to Ms. Thorpe’s involvement, Old Bight High School became the first government school to offer AP. This was a great accomplishment since Cat Island is considered an “Out Island” due to its distance from New Providence. During her trip to the Bahamas, she would teach our students AP English Language and AP Literature. She also continued teaching via Skype. This teaching was done from her classroom in Washington, D.C. The students were very successful and her model is being sought after by other schools. She continues to mentor the students while they are at the University of The Bahamas. As District Superintendent in the Bahamas, I currently encouraged the partnership of several Bahamian schools with Ms. Thorpe’s classes, to participate in a Language Exchange Program (LEP) that she developed. Her Spanish-speaking students and native English-speaking students from the Bahamas meet in her global virtual classroom weekly. Students not only learn about each other but participate in enriching language and cultural exchange through engaging classroom activities which she facilitates. Her vision is to have students engage in a shared educational experience that is mutually beneficial and to participate in language exchange to develop second language proficiency to help close the gap in language barriers. Some of the benefits of this program for students are: developing leadership skills and social and cultural awareness; building self-confidence, tolerance, and friendships; improving second language proficiency; and for overall personal development of the students. Ms. Thorpe is a well-rounded teacher who has inspired an entire nation. I endorse her wholeheartedly for the award that she is nominated for. She is a leader who is trustworthy and honest. She gives from her heart and expects nothing in return.

Mayor James (Bladensburg) Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms. Keishia Thorpe (PGCPS) on being renominated for this prestigious award! It’s wonderful to see you recognized for going above and beyond for your students and their families. May God continue to bless you.

Student Posted over a year ago

Something I like about Ms. Thorpe's class and that I did well in is that sometimes I help my group help with something. Something she taught me to improve on is my focus and assists me in class. Also, to pay attention to do my work and get better grades better. So thank you Ms. Thorpe.

P.A. Posted over a year ago

The first quarter in Ms. Thorpe's class has been a little bit harder for me because I have a job in the afternoon. Also, I am so excited that we already finished the first quarter because she makes me feel that if I did the first quarter I can do the other ones. The things that I learned in this class connect to real life and personal situations. Also, I learn about how I can read to understand the plot of a story. One thing that Ms. Thorpe taught me to improve on is that I need to practice more how to read a story and understand what the story is about. Also how to explain the evidence in an essay. This will really help me for college. I appreciate your help and congratulations.

Esmarelda C. Posted over a year ago

It was kinda hard at the beginning, but Ms. Thorpe makes us collaborate in her class. I worked with my trio, which helped a lot. In her class, I learn to Identify my emotions and construct essays. I also learned how to write an essay about myself to apply for college. I also improve my comprehension. Thank you for everything!

Your Student Posted over a year ago

This year it took some time to adapt to online classes due to internet problems. Especially when teachers were explaining something and the internet started lagging, causing confusion with the work. But I could say that Ms. Thorpe help us to navigate well and support us so there would not be problems in the future. I would say that something that I learned from Ms. Thorpe was being able to turn in most of my work on time, being responsible, and managing my time. I really enjoy learning about different topics especially those that I have a little idea of its meaning. Now I can identify with different topics which I can also use in my daily life. In order to be successful in Ms. Thorpe's class, she taught me to be more confident in my work and participation in class. Confidence was important to me because sometimes when I do my work I don't trust it and I always end up changing and ending with wrong answers. My participation, because most of the time I have an answer, but I am scared to give a wrong answer and I end up giving another answer that is really wrong. So, now I have gained confidence because she shows she believes in me and is always pushing me to believe in myself. That is why you are a life changer.

Zeru Posted over a year ago

Virtual learning was a bit strange because I wasn't practicing before the virtual class but Ms. Thorpe's class was good even if it's a new way to start the school year because she welcomed us all. Something I did well in Ms. Thorpe's class is getting to know my teacher also more be friendly with mates because she makes her class so open to sharing with each other. I learn from her how to write my college application essay in a narrative form to tell my personal story. She taught me how to improve my time management skill because in order to be successful I have to know how to use my time wisely. She also encourages me that I can improve maybe be give all I have to be successful.

FW Posted over a year ago

School has been good, but kind of frustrating because I was not used to the responsibility of having homework and getting it done on time Ms. Thorpe taught us to manage our time and now I’ve made plans in order to get my work done on time and that strategy has been working pretty well for me. I feel like things I did well in was writing essays because at first, I used to only write three paragraphs without listing the issues at the beginning of the essay but this class has helped me to improve on that and I know I’m able to write a five-paragraph essay with issues and solutions. I learned that in the stories we read there’s more than what we think. I also how to tell my own story. She makes us take our stories to social media and advocate for our rights as immigrants. I like that she makes us have a voice and share our opinion. Thank you Ms. Thorpe and Congratulations.

KMA Posted over a year ago

At first, I thought that I would not be able to do Ms. Thorpe's class, but I cannot say that it is easy because we work a lot and everything is very fast but at the same time, very interesting. She encouraged me to turn in all the tasks on time since in my free time I completed the things that I needed to finish. From her, I learned that by managing our time we can turn in all assignments on time, the kind of irony that exists, and how it can be reflected in the story, even in our vocabulary journal. She challenges me to share more ideas and motivate my classmates to be punctual in classes and to be responsible with my homework. She always tells me when I am doing a job and motivates me. Thank you, Ms. Thorpe.

W.F. Posted over a year ago

School has been a little stressful for me in the beginning because all the teachers have left us a lot of homework every day. By the way, in Ms. Thorpe's class, I do my best trying to be on time in all my classes. Something that Ms. Thorpe helped me to do well was to write a narrative essay about my life because I expressed all my feelings and how that impacted my life. Therefore, we have the freedom to say whatever we think. One thing that I learned in her class that was powerful was that all immigrant people have an impact on the country. For example, we read the story of Frederick Douglass. In that time period, black people were seen as least just for their skin color. They were forbidden to have equals rights. By the way, we can compare this with immigrant people. She teach us to be proud of our identity as immigrants.

Student Posted over a year ago

The year was excellent from the beginning and I have learned many things from Ms. Thorpe. However in the end I get too comfortable and I get stuck on my work. I feel that this semester I have worked very hard and I attend all of my classes because of her encouragement. I have learned about the types of irony and know more about my identity. I have learned that I need to improve in the way I organize my work and ask questions to help my improvement. Ms. Thorpe has taught me how to improve my time management and be on time in class. Being less distracted by my phone and put priorities such as my school work first. Thank you so much.

Howard Gardner Posted over a year ago

Thorpe is phenomenal!!! She was my 12th grade and 11th grade teacher for a class or 2 , she will definitely push the heck outta you and she also loves green juices FYI lol

Thalia Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms.Thorpe, and thank you for the opportunity to take the SAT Exam Prep.

Jo-Anna Posted over a year ago

You are doing an amazing job

Bobor Bah Posted over a year ago

Thank you Ms Keisha Thrope for your effort towards me.

Jo-Anna Posted over a year ago

You are doing an amazing job

Irwine G Clare, Sr. OD Posted over a year ago

Firstly I am a supporter of the endeavors of Mr Thorpe. As member of Jamaica’s leading philanthropic organization in the diaspora, I understand and appreciate Volunteerism, service to mankind without the expectations of remuneration. However driven by the desire and motivation to serve. Ms Thorpe epitomizes that, and stands in an exemplary manner notably in our community. Using the basis learnt the experiences as a competitive athlete, she has transforms them to creating opportunities fir others. I am confident that her profession have gained a great asset and armor in the fight for our children’s future. Keep on winning You are our Excellent Star ??

Jerome Forbes, District Superintendent Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe exemplifies what excellence in education truly means. She has pioneered educational initiatives here in The Bahamas. This award allows us to tell her story as a means of inspiring others. The steps of a good woman are ordered by The Lord. Congratulations and best wishes.

Tania Dyer-Smith Posted over a year ago

Congrats and continue to live life more abundant.

Robert Jackson Jr. Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Keishia. I and other members of the Howard University Bison Family are extremely proud of your accomplishments. Achieving excellence in your field is what is expected of you as a proud graduate of HU, and you have delivered. But don’t rest on your laurels - go forth and keep climbing. Sending well-wishes and Bison love?? your way, today and until the end of time.

Katering Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms.Thorpe !!

Dwight Laing Posted over a year ago

Ms Thorpe has been working hard with students who are less fortunate and have the ability to succeed in whatever they are willing to do, she often gives them the opportunity to work hard and hope to get the best results that they needed.

Council Member Carletta Lundy Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is an English teacher at the International High School at Langley Park (IHSLP) in Prince George’s County, Bladensburg Maryland. She has dedicated herself to helping her English Language Learners prepare for college, an opportunity that most of them did not see as a possibility. As a young woman and immigrant from Jamaica, Keishia Thorpe who worked hard to earn a track and field scholarship to a college in the U.S, where she graduated at the top of her class, is committed and passionate about helping her students realize their dream of going to college. Ms. Thorpe works with senior students learning the English language in addition to his or her native language or any other languages they may speak. The fact that the majority of the students at IHSLP will achieve that goal of learning how to speak English is a huge accomplishment. In March 2019 I had the pleasure to be invited and see firsthand the positive impact Ms. Thorpe has in the lives of her students. Ms. Thorpe invited me to participate as a reviewer for the presentation of the Senior English portfolios of her English Language and Literature senior students. The presentations represented a culmination of the hard work of the seniors over a six-month period. The students showcased their progress and development in writing and speaking in the English language as they prepared to graduate and go off to college and work life where they would transfer these skills. As a Council Member, resident, and member of the community, it was a great and memorable experience. As a result of spending time and cultivating my relationship with Ms. Thorpe, I was able to work with an incredible student from the IHSLP over the summer who is interested in obtaining a job as an elected official one day. It is my privilege to congratulate Ms. Keisha Thorpe on her Life Changer nomination because of the significant impact she is making on the lives of the students at the IHSLP. She is an extraordinary young woman and teacher; indeed, preparing the students to have an opportunity to be successful future leaders in the communities where they find themselves. Whatever your decision, please accept my sincere thanks for your time and consideration for my recommendation of one of Prince George’s County’s finest teachers, Ms. Keishia Thorpe to receive the LifeChanger of the Year Award.

Student Posted over a year ago

I am a senior taking two classes with Ms. Thorpe. I have only known her for less than a year. However in this minimal time with her, l came to learn a lot from her. Ms. Thorpe is a caring, strong, confident woman. She taught me the values of education and encouraged me to strive for my goals. In fact, she provided me with resources that pushed me to explore different things. In a personal situation, she becomes a consultant, a person a student can trust, and an adviser that listens with no judgment. Even with so much on her plate, she makes sure to make time for her students. Ms. Thorpe is more than a teacher, she is an adviser and an influencer. For all her hard work for students, I recommend her wholeheartedly for being an outstanding teacher.

Saba Amare Posted over a year ago

As a past student and about to finish college, Ms. Thorpe is more than a life changer to me. Not only does Ms. Thorpe ensure students are being challenged academically, but she is adamant about building character and presenting us with a wide array of opportunities that time and time again uncovered potentials in us—potency. Anything written here about her presents to you a mere glimpse of the incredible encourager, educator, and example that Ms. Thorpe is for our community. I firmly believe that she would be a rightful recipient of the Life Changer award for her commitment to the cause that your mission echoes so well.

Philesha Taylor Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is an extraordinary educator and an exceptional leader. I had the privilege of being taught and mentored by Ms. Thorpe during her involvement in the Cat Island Earth Day Celebration and during my participation in the Exchange Student Program between my former high school Old Bight High school located in Cat Island, The Bahamas, and Columbia Heights Education Campus located in Washington DC, USA. She guided and molded me throughout my grade 11 and 12 journeys and has continued to do so during my college education. Despite our distance, we take advantage of any opportunity to speak with one another and she has always maintained that her purpose and that is teaching. She has significantly impacted students and because of her dedication, kindness, and her willingness to go above and beyond for her students, she produces exceptional leaders and innovators, and creators. Ms. Thorpe has grown beyond an educator to me; she is a motivator, mentor, and nurturer. She has inspired me to not only be better but to push myself to want more and do more. I have grown and matured so much under her guidance. There are not many teachers as gifted, loving, or honorable as she. God created her to inspire students such as myself, to seek knowledge greedily and enthusiastically while also being brave enough to learn about ourselves. Even from afar, she has managed to add so much knowledge and wisdom into my life. She continues to pour into me. The Life Changer award was made for Ms. Thorpe; there is no better person for the position, I can wholeheartedly say she is the ideal person for the award.

Kenny Blanco Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms. thorpe

Giselle Flores Posted over a year ago

I met Ms.Thorpe about 3 years ago, since that day she became a mother at school. She taught me to be uncomfortable with average, that I should put all the work in to be outstanding. She taught me to believe in myself, to be confident, and to be kind to myself. She taught me to be part of that 1% of people that stick with their goals and dreams in order to achieve them. She has taught me a million things that will be thankful for the rest of my life. It was being an honor and a huge pleasure to work hand in hand with you, Ms.Thorpe. Congratulations you deserve all the goodness of the whole world. Thank you for everything because I can say you have become an influential person in my journey throughout high school!!

Student Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, I hope you win!

Isatu Bobor Bah Posted over a year ago


students Posted over a year ago

Congrats Ms. Thorpe on this achievement

Student Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms.Thorpe I hope you win!!

Nicolle Posted over a year ago

Congrats ms Thope we as your advisory are so proud of you!!

Daniel Salazar Posted over a year ago

Congratulations. I hope you win!

Kim Scott Posted over a year ago

I don't know you, but I read your profile and you ROCK! CONGRATULATIONS!! AND KEEP KEEPING ON

Malik Posted over a year ago

Thank you for giving students opportunities to do what they love

Debbie Palmer-Henry Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! We are so proud of your accomplishments

Evon Sivells Posted over a year ago

Thank you for what you have done in the community! Your perseverance and dedication speaks volumes and is a true inspiration! Congratulations on all your accomplishments!

Tarjmaar Miller Posted over a year ago

Keishia Thorpe, over the last 2years has remained an awesome friend, mentor and role model to me; having met her in Jamaica in 2019 at a annual function host by her “U.S. Elite Track and Field Athletic Convention” I reached out to her expressed my concerns and she welcomed me with open arms ready and willing to assist while being cognizant of how difficult it might be to achieve what I needed to achieve and has stick with me since then. What I am most appreciative of is the fact the when I almost gave up on my dreams due to COVID-19 putting a halt on life because I could achieve a number of goals which would lead to my ultimate goal of obtaining a scholarship to study in the U.S. she keep me going be constantly reminding me that hope is not lost and continued to place great effort in my future which motivated me to get up and go after my dreams as hope is never lost until this life I leave is no more. With her help and continued support I am pleased to say I am the recipient of a full tuition scholarship, studying in the U.S. and for that I am very grateful and forever show my appreciation for her act of selflessness in investing in my future.

Adilia Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!! You are an inspiration to the upcoming generations! R2C

Teresa R. Posted over a year ago

congratulations Ms.Thorpe. I appreciate everything you done for my daughter. You have help many children's improve and will continue to make a difference.

Margi A. Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Ms.Thorpe.

Diana Avalos Posted over a year ago

Congrats Ms.Thorpe. I value everything you taught me through out the years from my education and real life. I have inproved mentally and in my education because of your support. You are a very caring person who wants the best for your students even if they feel they can't give there best. I appreciate your hard work and learned a lot with you. Thank you.

Tarjmaar Miller Posted over a year ago

Keishia Thorpe, over the last 2years has remained an awesome friend, mentor and role model to me; having met her in Jamaica in 2019 at a annual function host by her “U.S. Elite Track and Field Athletic Convention” I reached out to her expressed my concerns and she welcomed me with open arms ready and willing to assist while being cognizant of how difficult it might be to achieve what I needed to achieve and has stick with me since then. What I am most appreciative of is the fact the when I almost gave up on my dreams due to COVID-19 putting a halt on life because I could achieve a number of goals which would lead to my ultimate goal of obtaining a scholarship to study in the U.S. she keep me going be constantly reminding me that hope is not lost and continued to place great effort in my future which motivated me to get up and go after my dreams as hope is never lost until this life I leave is no more. With her help and continued support I am pleased to say I am the recipient of a full tuition scholarship, studying in the U.S. and for that I am very grateful and forever show my appreciation for her act of selflessness in investing in my future.

jody muschette Posted over a year ago

good luck ms Thorpe...i wish you all the best..continue doing good

Tarjmaar Miller Posted over a year ago


Erice Posted over a year ago

Congrats on your nomination. I admire your dedication to the the most noble of professions.

Juan Lino Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe, you have helped me to grow by encouraging me to be better and always tried to speak English, and always do my work on time. You have helped me to be a better student and get better grades and improve on my speaking by making goals, making slides, talk about topics and be creative when we do something. My life has changed because now I feel more confident when we do some presentations in other classes or when the other teachers ask questions. You are a life changer. Congratulations and I hope you win.

Daniel Salazar Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe, you have helped me to improve my English by practicing giving presentations and doing reading plus. Thank you and congratulations. You deserve this award.

Diane Spann Posted over a year ago


Kenny Blanco Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe, you have helped me because when I don't do my work or I don't join classes you tell me that you will call my mom which encourages me to do work and join classes. And you always support me. Thank you and congrats.

Gino San Gabriel Posted over a year ago


Amergit Palanco Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe helped me a lot by telling me how I can do better and to keep reading so this year I could pass the WIDA test. Overall she has helped me a lot as a student and as a person. Meanwhile, she helps me to be a better student by advising me and telling me that I need to lower my voice and she has helped me in my grades because she asks students of our advisory to help each other and she makes breakout rooms where all of us can get help from Math, English, etc. My life has changed a lot in advisory because when I am going through a bad day there is always somebody in her advisory who makes my day. Thank you, Ms. Thorpe, and congratulations.

Katerin Mendoza Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe has helped me get my grades together by motivating me that I have potential and always telling me what I am doing wrong. She puts pressure on me so I can do my best because when I first started high school I did not use to go to school a lot and had bad grades. She has always had conversations with me. She has taught me to not care about what others are doing and to just focus on myself. Even though we had our rough times I still appreciate everything she has helped me with. Advisory has helped me have a better relationship with my advisor. Also, my advisor has helped me get better at reading because we always have to do reading plus. She always makes sure we are okay and makes sure we attend to our advisory. It also has helped me because we help each other, we help each other to do assignments that we might not understand. It also encourages me to get out of ESOL, to keep on doing what I'm doing so I can keep on getting good grades. And to not miss lead the way I want life to go for me. In advisory, we actually have a teacher to talk to about our problems or life. We have learned to become better people and to keep on reaching our goals. We have learned a lot about each other and have learned to get along.

Saira Echeverria Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe helps me to grow and strive for what I want in not giving up and even if my grades go wrong this semester already in the 3rd I will give my best because I already set a goal, as well as I, have done in other things so I'm going to achieve it here Her advisory help me to be better at setting goals even in my personal life. It helped me a lot since the year 2020 and these days have not been the best days of my life, but her encouragement helped me to improve and be a good person. Her students receive better grades and improve their speech by doing and completing weekly reading plus that she organizes. Well, it has changed all of us since with her we can receive advice and if we have problems at home we can talk to her since she always wants us to talk and express what we feel and that is very good because it teaches us to be positive people. Congrats to the best life changer ever!

Rania Mahmoud Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe is a life changer because she helped me improve myself and try to get things done in challenging myself to be better in the future. She taught me that don’t stay in one position for a long time try harder to get better. It will be hard but it worthed. My advice helps me to communicate better with others and help to get a better person with other friends and don’t judge people before knowing them and be nice to everyone even if I don’t like that person. She helped me to grow with my English skill and get to exist WIDA that was my dream to pass it and in advisory with communication in English and support to do reading plus that helped me pass. My life has changed because advisory shows me my skill and I can do better and get better with working hard myself and together as a group can help learn more from each other than what in advisory we learn from each other.

Anghy Amaya Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe has helped me in my growth by giving me advice on how I can improve my grades to look for new ways to work and also Ms.Thorpe has been a big support to me, she motivated me. Ms.Thorpe has been a big support to me because she encourages me to do more of what I know by helping me grow my level of English from a low level to a higher level of 4.2. Her Advisory class has helped me improve my grade because it has been showing me that if I put all my effort into my work to be a great student with good grades I will be successful in so many ways, it will help me to open doors that will help me in the future. Advisory has shown me that I have to work on my grades to be a good student because it will show me and other people who I am as a person. Advisory has helped me by putting more pressure to work more hard by finishing all my assignments on time. Advisory has helped me in my speaking when we made presentations and we speak to each other. My advisory has helped me to achieve my goals and created new goals to improve myself and my school skill. My life has changed because advisory has shown me that I have to be determined about what I want to do and that I can do everything I want. Advisory has changed my life to make me be disciplined in my life to do the best I can. That is why I think Ms. Thorpe is a Life Changer.

Santos Perez Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe helped me in my growth by talking to me when she sees that I´m not doing my assignments she gives me advice on how to improve my reading. Her advisory helped me to be a better student she pushes me to do my work.

Karla Ayala Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe helped me in my growth by giving me suggestions in my work, giving me good opportunities in the community,in school as well in my personal life. Her Advisory has helped me to be a better student in helping me to recognize my errors in my work and also in my speaking. I have made a really huge improvement in my speaking and my reading since I am in this advisory, in just one year I jumped from 2.9 to a 4.3. She has also helped me when I need suggestions, telling me that I have to do my work, my reading plus, she has always paid attention to her students. My life has changed because of advisory in multiple things, here I have learned how to manage my time, set realistic goals, and improve in my presentations.

Community member Posted over a year ago

Ms. Thorpe is a valuable part of the community that her students live in. I remember in the summer, every Saturday, she would walk the streets through the whole community in the hot summer sun with the Mayor and their team of volunteers to help the residents register for the Census and register to vote. Usually, you do not see teachers out in the community unless you run into them at the grocery store, but she has a visible presence in her school community. She always attends community events to get more familiar with the parents and develop relationships with leaders in the school community. I think this is important because it helps us to build trust with teachers, knowing our kids are in good hands. I know personally that she has gone above and beyond for some of her students during COVID. She has used her own vehicle to make several trips to pick up boxes of groceries and produce and personally deliver it to her students' homes. She spent all day driving and looking for their homes. This is the sign of a teacher who cares. She is definitely an asset to her school and our community. Knowing what she is doing in the school community and from what her students say about her, you do not have to question how she became a life changer. Congratulations Ms. Thorpe and continue to stay strong. Keep up the good work!

Isatu Bah Posted over a year ago

Ms.Thorpe helped me to grow by advising me to put more effort into English so that I can exist on my WIDA reading level. So that I can take AP classes in 12 grade. She also helped me to grow by giving a lot of support in my school academic work. She motivates me to be a strong person. She makes us pick a partner in her class and this has helped me. When I might not be the advisory, my partner and Ms. Thorpe will call me and ask me what is wrong with me. Also, we work together as an advisory to complete missing assignments and help each other improve our grades. We communicate with each other as families by calling each other when we are absent from the class. My life has changed in advisory which is extremely good because I had the best advisor who always supported us in any circumstance we are going through. She always makes sure that everyone is doing good and everything is okay with us. She is like a mother to us. She encourages us to put more effort into our school academic work.