WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Amber Jones, Stay Home Mom
Mrs. Alicia Pierce was my Small Business Entrepreneurship teacher at Northside High School in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Before that, though, she was a member of my parents’ church, Agape Christians in Action. So I had the special privilege of knowing her both personally and professionally. Mrs. Alicia was a phenomenal teacher. Her class was challenging, interesting, and fun. I learned principles of accounting and finance that I still use to this day. When I needed help or extra tutoring, she always found time in her busy schedule to help me. She always helped everyone. She volunteered as the church secretary and helped to take a few tasks off my parents’ plates. We all fondly nicknamed her “Miss Agape” because of the love and dedication she demonstrated to all of us at the church.
Mrs. Alicia frequently opened her home for Agape C.I.A. members to gather and fellowship. I have fond memories of playing cards, eating good food, and even swimming in the pool in her back yard. As a teenager, there were many places that my parents dragged me to where I didn’t want to be; but I was always ecstatic to visit Mrs. Alicia. She always included the young people in the fun, and made us feel like valued.
I was in the same graduating class as Mrs. Alicia’s daughter. Out of the goodness of her heart, she invited me along with them for a spa day to celebrate our upcoming ceremony. It was incredible. We got facials and pedicures, new bags, and lunch. I had never had anyone outside my family do something like that for me. I so appreciated it. In that, she talked to us about the importance of relaxing and giving ourselves time to take a break. She talked about the rigors of college that were right around the corner. The advice she gave was priceless as I was the first person in my family to go to college. My parents helped me in every way that they could, but they didn’t have firsthand experience to share like Mrs. Alicia did.
Even when I became an adult and we lived states away, she found ways to support me. When I became a teacher, she was always cheering me on and encouraging me through the many challenges I faced. When my husband graduated from Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, she hopped on the road from Maryland early in the morning and sat in insane traffic on I-95. She finally made it there to congratulate us, only to turn around and drive hours back home because she had another engagement to attend. I was taken aback that she would inconvenience herself so greatly just to see us for less than an hour.
Mrs. Alicia has had a profound impact on my life. She is a light to everyone she meets. She only ever builds people up. Everyone is better for having met her. She is the epitome of Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” and I am blessed to know her.
Andrew Blake, Mental Health Technician
I met Alicia Pierce my junior summer in high school. The first word that came to mind when meeting her was royalty. From our first introduction, I could tell she holds here self to a high standard. At the same time, she was very polite, easy going, and humble at the same time. It felt like it was an honor to be in her presence. Class and pride was something she exemplified in herself and others. I would definitely consider her a natural leader of the community. As a teacher in my school, she was one of the most approachable of teachers. Students confided in her. She was nonjudgmental. I recall thinking how fascinating it was seeing kids of different subgroups become so vulnerable to her sharing their dilemmas, frustrations and anecdotes. She served as a good ear and great adviser in terms looking at things rationally and building up the student. It was as if she radiated expectations of everyone who interacted with her without saying it. I definitely made sure I was on my best behavior when she was in my vicinity. In all actuality, the fear of a teacher or student reporting something negative to her definitely kept me out of trouble. She served as a great example of teacher, parent, and overall person. She has and always will be looked upon as a mentor and motherly figure.