Posted by: The I AM Foundation | October 6, 2011

From Tragedy to Impact: Changing Lives of Children at The Essence Coprich Library, 116th St School

Jeffrey and Danielle Coprich

Did you ever notice that people come into your lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime? The I AM Foundation is so fortunate to
know our very dear friends Jeffrey and Danielle Coprich of Los Angeles and Principal Carolin McKie of the 116th St School in South Central Los Angeles.  Jeffrey came to us on an auspicious day over three years ago and told us his story.

The story of how through tragic loss, he wanted to make the world a better place for children in honor of his beloved daughter Essence Coprich. Essence’s life was taken way too soon. Too much for any parent to bear. Jeffrey however,  committed himself to making a difference and created The Essence Coprich Library at the 116th St School in South Central Los Angeles.

116th St School Children Receiving Their Books

Over the years and through our dedicated partnership, The I AM Foundation has contributed over 2,500 books to the children and youth of the 116th Street School and who visit The Essence Coprich Library. And this past August, Principal Carolyn McKie contacted The I AM Foundation for support. Carolyn said “I am working on expanding a positive self-esteem program that I use with my students. I was hoping to include a copy of The I AM! Affirmation Book for each student.”

Jeffrey Coprich wanted everyone to know that his son Jeffrey Coprich, Jr., a student at West Ranch High School in Valencia, CA, is a major help to The Essence Coprich Library. Jeffrey Jr. plays varsity football in the positions of running-back and corner back. He makes an enormous contribution to the Essence Coprich Library. His Dad says, “Jeffrey likes to help, he plays a big part. Jeffrey, Jr. loves to read to

Jeffrey Coprich Jr.

Jeffrey Coprich Jr.

the children and he collects the books and gets them over to the library. He even thinks of bringing books to the homeless children we serve at Christmas time. Jeffrey uses the I AM! Affirmation Book for Teens and Young Adults and is sharing them with his football team. Jeffrey Jr. is an incredible kid. He sorts and carries the books to the school. I couldn’t do this without Jeffrey’s help. ” Check out this story on Jeffrey Coprich, Jr. on the Official Huskers Locker Blog.

In Loving Memory of Essence Coprich

Because of the generosity of The I AM Foundation’s Points of Light program, every child at The Essence Coprich Library and the 116th St School will be receiving an I AM! Affirmation Book this fall as part of Carolin’s self-esteem program. In addition, 1,000 teenagers and young adults in Los Angeles County are receiving The I AM! Affirmation Book for Teens and Young Adults: Empowering Who You Are. Read what this principal shares about the value of The I AM! Affirmation Book in her school:

Principal Carolin McKie with Hollywood Actors at 116th St School

“When children receive positive attention from adults they feel valued as if they really matter; are visible; and are worth something to someone. This in return increases their self-esteem in a way that no amount of money can purchase. When a child’s self-esteem increases they feel better about themselves and learn the value of their existence in the world. They learn to value their life, the lives of others and the life of the planet we live on. Often times children are not validated enough, they feel isolated because no one may listen to them or may hear their dreams or aspirations.

When we talk with children we need to teach them that they do matter. That each one has unique and special gifts inside of them that can be used for the betterment of humanity.  It does not matter the environment in which they grow up because many people have suffered far more adversities in life, yet overcame those adversities because of the belief in themselves to make a difference for themselves and others. We need to encourage each child to use his or her gifts and talents to their fullest potential and in a positive way. We have all too often experienced the chaos and destruction when talented children are left to those who would use their gifts for personal gain to the detriment of mankind.  I often say that the concept of someone being a genius does not know name, rank, serial number, color, gender, race or creed. It comes from where it comes.

This is why the work of The I AM Foundation and The I AM! Affirmation Book: Discovering The Value of Who You Are is so important to our kids. The book is a tool we use at our school which helps us achieve these goals. We encourage and challenge all adults: educators, parents, community groups and society as a whole to invest in every child by sowing seeds to help them understand who they are and what they are worth. It is never too late to begin this important work. WE have the ability and tools that we need to encourage our children to greatness.”

-Carolin McKie, Principal, 116th Street School, Los Angeles, CA

If you have read this far in this article, you must know that the children of our inner cities who come from low to mid-income families are the ones who are getting hit the hardest in these current economic times.  Some of the parents cannot afford to make books a priority. Sometimes they are so in survival mode, its hard for them to meet the needs of their children. We welcome your partnership in whatever way we can work together to make a positive impact in your community.

Click here for more information on how you can make a dynamic impact by sponsoring a school through The I AM Foundation’s Annual Points of Light Campaign.



  1. I’m loving this story,The IAM Foundation is one incredible organization I love how this program touches the children of the world.

  2. Once again, the I AM Foundation is changing the lives of children by affirming their incredible value and worthiness to the world! Great, great job, Steve, Marilyn, the wonderful Coprich family, and Principal Mckie!

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