Over 190 students have graduated from KIPP Delta Collegiate High and over 80% are persisting in college, enlisted in the military, participating in national service, or have graduated from a 2- or 4-year college.
Check in on their adventures after leaving KIPP Delta in the Alumni bios below.
Joseph Whitfield, Class of 2011
Joseph Whitfield might have been the first Whitfield to arrive at KIPP Delta Public Schools but he is certainly not the last. Joseph is joined at KIPP Delta by his younger brother David Whitfield, Class of 2013, and his older brother Nathan, who is a teacher at KIPP Delta Collegiate High School.
Joseph has been the embodiment of KIPP Delta values “Work hard. Be Nice!” Joseph volunteered countless hours in the Helena-West Helena community with Together for Hope, Teen Court, and the Parks and Recreation Department. He also chaired the KIPP Delta Collegiate High School blood drive in his junior and senior years and was voted Mr. KIPP Delta by high school peers. In addition, he ran cross country and helped push the KIPP Delta cross country team to second place in the district meet.
Joseph was a diligent student, taking more Advanced Placement exams at KIPP Delta than any student who came before him. Though all the students who have graduated from KIPP Delta Collegiate are missed when they go to college, Joseph’s friendly and welcoming demeanor was particularly missed by his younger classmates.
However, Joseph’s zeal and grit were happily welcomed at his college, Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he became the first student ever to be elected class president for all four years. Joseph also serves as a mentor to freshmen KIPPsters from KIPP Delta, KIPP Austin, KIPP San Jose at Colby College. Joseph was thrilled to welcome two more KIPP alumni to Colby in the fall of 2014.
David Bibbs, Class of 2011
David Bibbs is a sophomore at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. As a middle and high school student, David’s passion had been baking cakes. There was not a cake flavor or style that went untested by David. He would often share his cake creations with his classmates and teachers. Students all agreed David’s best cake was the caramel cake he made regularly. David was paid by Helena community members to make cakes for birthday celebrations and weddings.
In the past year and a half, David has turned his love of baking cakes into his college pursuit as a Baking & Pastry Arts major at Johnson and Wales. In addition, he apprenticed in a Providence, Rhode Island restaurant this summer. Though David is excelling at Johnson and Wales, he came to KIPP Delta College Preparatory School barely able to read. He worked day and night to catch up in math and become a fluent reader. Though it was a challenge, he is now on the honor roll and credits his time at KIPP Delta as preparing him for the challenge of college. David also has a younger brother who graduated from KIPP Delta. He is supported by his mother and sister, who make sure he meets the challenges before him.
David would like to open a pastry shop in a big city. His former teachers hope that he will open a pastry and coffee shop in downtown Helena and are lobbying hard for his return.
Vanessa Williams, Class of 2013
Vanessa Williams is a member of the KIPP Delta Collegiate High School Class of 2013. Vanessa now attends the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. As a KIPPster, she was involved in basketball, choir, and drama. Now in college, Vanessa continues to pursue her passion for singing with the U of A Ensemble - Women’s Chorus, the St. James Young Adult College Choir, and the Chi Alpha Ministry gospel choir. Vanessa is also putting her leadership skills to work at U of A, where she is the KIPP College Ambassador and Student Support Service Ambassador. These roles require her to lead, serve, and support my fellow colleagues, many of whom are also KIPP alumni, and make sure that they have everything they need to be successful.
Vanessa is currently a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology K-12. Once she graduates, she is determined to give back to her community by coaching the girls basketball team at KIPP Delta. After returning home to coach younger KIPPsters, Vanessa plans to go back to school for another degree. She may pursue an advanced degree in Kinesiology or change direction and work towards a counseling degree. Vanessa is interested in being a school counselor because she believes it’s very important for students to have someone they can trust and talk to as they move through school. Her number one goal is to see her community rise to the top, to see more minority students go to and through college, and to inspire students to help the next person behind them.
“It’s not enough to just climb the mountain to college,” says Vanessa, “you must help the next person up. There is too much talent in my community to just go to waste. I want to show them open doors that they never knew about and opportunities that are waiting for them. All they have to do is want it, be willing to work hard, and always believe in themselves.”