FSU Alumni Association

Herneshia Dukes (B.S. ’08)


After witnessing how the turmoil of Hurricane Katrina affected her family in New Orleans, Herneshia Dukes pledged to return and support the distressed community after her graduation from FSU. Following a two-year commitment teaching at an Atlanta public high school through Teach for America, Dukes made good on her promise and joined a team of seven teachers who founded KIPP: New Orleans Leadership Academy in the poverty-stricken lower ninth ward of New Orleans. By her third year, she was one of the highest performing teachers in the region. In 2015, she was selected as principal of the school and began to implement her long-term vision of infusing leadership structures throughout the school. Dukes hopes that by empowering and equipping her students with leadership skills, they will help to create positive change within their community.

Brooke Druliner
KIPP Leadership Academy
New Orleans, La.