WE Teacher Kimiko Cowley-Pettis: Finding purpose through tragedy

Receives Walgreens WE Teachers Award for inspiring a new generation of change-makers to help the city’s homeless
Walgreens WE Teacher Kimiko
Walgreens WE Teacher Kimiko
Teacher, Chicago, Illinois

“All it takes is that one person with that crazy idea, bringing it to fruition, to impact hundreds of people.” Always passionate about helping others, Kimiko Cowley-Pettis’s drive to do good was amplified after her niece was shot as a result of random local violence while she was innocently standing in a park with a group of friends. As she worked through that devastating loss, Cowley-Pettis became determined to make her niece proud by honoring her positive personality and leading her students to take action on tough issues impacting their community. Kimiko and her students volunteer at a homeless shelter and gather donations for local food banks. Leveraging WE service-learning resources, she has helped her students in Grades 6 to 8 make connections between what they learn in the classroom and real-world issues. To thank her for inspiring the next generation to make a difference, Cowley-Pettis was presented at WE Day Illinois with a $500 Walgreens WE Teachers Award to purchase much-needed supplies for her classroom and her students.

Discover where WE Teachers is making an impact in your community. Select your region to read teacher stories of impact:

Full Map View
Full Map View
pacific northwest region image
pacific northwest region image

WE Teacher Stories from the Pacific Northwest

Tiffany Teacher Image
Tiffany Teacher Image
WE Teacher Martina Voet: Building a culture of kindness

Teacher, Redmond, Washington Building students’ leadership skills by addressing poverty and inequalities in the community

Ted Teacher Image
Ted Teacher Image
WE Teacher Ted Meyer: Challenging small-town students to think big

Teacher, Driggs, Idaho Inspiring his students to make the world a better place by addressing important social and mental health issues

WE Teacher Shawne
WE Teacher Shawne
WE Teacher Shawne Johnson: Promoting diversity through art

Art Teacher, Port Angeles, WA Using art to address issues of diversity and inclusion with her students and community

mid-west region image
mid-west region image

WE Teacher Stories from the Mid-West

WE Teacher Kimiko
WE Teacher Kimiko
WE Teacher Kimiko Cowley-Pettis: Finding purpose through tragedy

Teacher, Chicago, Illinois Receives Walgreens WE Teachers Award for inspiring a new generation of change-makers to help the city’s homeless

WE Teacher Dr McCoy
WE Teacher Dr McCoy
WE Teacher Dr. Art McCoy: Building bridges to inspire healing

Superintendent, Jennings, MO Bringing people together to change communities and help prevent youth violence

WE Teacher Miriam
WE Teacher Miriam
WE Teacher Miriam Alejandro: Inspiring pride and confidence

Teacher, St. Louis, Missouri Helping low-income students to become their best selves while they give back to their community and help the homeless

Southeast region image
Southeast region image

WE Teacher Stories from the Southeast

WE Teacher Deborah
WE Teacher Deborah
WE Teacher Deborah Robbins: Leading every child to succeed

Educator, Colombia, Maryland WE Teachers award winner, tackling bullying and teaching life-changing skills to special education students

WE Teacher Susan
WE Teacher Susan
WE Teacher Susan Snyder: From corner office to coin drive

Teacher, Louisville, Kentucky Making a difference by helping students break down complex issues and take action

WE Teacher Ashley
WE Teacher Ashley
WE Teacher Ashley Davenport: Helping students find a unique path to service

Educator, Louisville, Kentucky Fostering the potential of every student to give back, know more and do better

Southwest Region Image
Southwest Region Image

WE Teacher Stories from the Southwest

WE Teacher Dr J
WE Teacher Dr J
WE Teacher Dr. J: Inner-city L.A. educator spreads impact and inspiration

Compton & Inglewood, L.A Connecting teachers to inspire others and empowering students to make a change in their communities

WE Teacher Patty
WE Teacher Patty
WE Teacher Patty Wyman: Leading the cheer for unlimited potential

Teacher, Napa, California Countering negativity and helplessness by empowering student leaders

WE Teacher Tiffany
WE Teacher Tiffany
WE Teacher Tiffany Ragland: Passing on a lesson of caring

School Counselor, Frisco, Texas Supporting students’ social emotional development through connection

Northeast region image
Northeast region image

WE Teacher Stories from the Northeast

WE Teacher Nadine
WE Teacher Nadine
WE Teacher Nadine Lewis-Knight: Supporting anti-bullying campaign

Teacher, Brooklyn, New York Helping her students bring an end to cyberbullying and inspire a school culture of respect

WE Teacher Briana
WE Teacher Briana
WE Teacher Briana Helm: Ignites a passion to read, write and rock

Counselor, Elizabeth, NJ Supporting her students in fighting for better opportunities for themselves and their community

WE Teacher Leonela
WE Teacher Leonela
WE Teacher Leonela Garcia: Providing career opportunities in health care

Teacher, New York City Diversity and inclusion champion

Learn more about WE Teachers

Walgreens knows that teachers are unsung heroes of our communities. That’s why, together with their ME to WE Proud Supporters, Walgreens is funding the development of WE Teachers. This new program will be available to educators nationwide at no cost, equipping them with the tools and resources to address critical social issues in their classrooms. The WE Teachers program includes:

  • Online modules and curriculum to address critical social issues
  • Training sessions and professional learning
  • Online teacher platform and social community
  • WE Teachers Awards, which help to supplement the cost teachers spend on classrooms suppliers

Learn more or register at weteachers.org

Apply/nominate a teacher for a WE Teachers Award

According to a study, 94% of teachers spend more than $500 of their own money on school suppliers per year. That’s why Walgreens and the ME to WE Foundation are giving awards to 500 teachers around the country. Help local teachers and schools by nominating a deserving teacher to receive a $500 Walgreens gift card for classroom supplies.

WE Teachers Award Image
WE Teachers Award Image
WE Teachers Made Possible by Walgreens and Proudly Supported by Kleenex and Scott
WE Teachers Made Possible by Walgreens and Proudly Supported by Kleenex and Scott

Walgreens and the ME to WE Foundation are committed to supporting local teachers and empowering students across America. From July 21 to September 7, Walgreens has partnered with select suppliers for a special back-to-school promotion. Walgreens will support the ME to WE Foundation and WE Teachers as a result of funds contributed from the supporters during this promotional period. Together, we can create a brighter future for the next generation. Shop more Walgreens products HERE.