After earning a degree in History, Sissy began teaching High School Social Studies in a depressed area of Brooklyn.
While teaching, she continued her education and in June of 2012 she earned a Masters Degree in Education from the College Of Staten Island. Tragically, at the young age of 29 her life long dream came to an end. Sissy lost her life to domestic violence when she was brutally murdered in her own home.
This non-profit corporation was established by family and friends in August 2012, in loving memory of Simeonette, with the sole purpose to carry on her goodness and the work that she so loved to do!
On September 25th 1982 in Albuquerque New Mexico, Simeonette was born to Theresa & John Mapes. Her big brother "Little John" (then only 2 years old) could not pronounce her name so he called her "Sissy". From that point on she was "Sissy" to family, friends
and all who she touched throughout her life. The family relocated every three or four years since her father John Sr., served in the Military. Upon retirement from the U.S. Air-Force the Mapes family made Staten Island, New York their home.
In spite of her busy teaching schedule, she made time volunteering as a dance coordinator for talent shows. She also established a "Girl's Leadership Class," a volunteer after school workshop, where she encouraged self-esteem, pride and confidence to her female students.
Sissy had a way of communicating and reaching out to her students. She put things in every day perspective. Her successful teaching methods lead her students to achieve the highest social studies test scores ever recorded at her school. The scores were so high, retesting was required by another faculty member just to confirm the testing integrity. Needless to say, Sissy's students scored just as well
and in some cases higher than the first test.
During the 2011 Christmas season, Sissy gained knowledge that several students were not expecting to receive any gifts for Christmas. She felt so bad and shared this with her mother. Together they were able to gather enough gifts for every student in the entire school. These were not expensive gifts by any means but all the students would have a gift to open on Christmas. The students could not believe this act of kindness. That someone, a teacher, "Sissy" cared and loved them enough to do this for them. Together the students gave her a huge Christmas card signed by all the students. Only this card wasn't for Sissy, it was for Sissy's parents, Theresa and John. The card read:
To the parents of Ms. Mapes!You must be terrific parents because you raised a beautiful and caring daughter.We love Ms. Mapes and you too."
Sissy's parents Theresa and John Sr.,still have and treasure that card. Many of her students attended her funeral. They shared with the family so many stories of how Sissy made a difference in their lives. They told Sissy's family that they still have and will always treasure the gifts that Sissy and her Mom gave them for Christmas.
Sissy's wasn't finished with her work just yet. The following Summer, Sissy realized that many of the students she reached out to during the prior Christmas were now having a difficult time finding and paying for dresses, shoes, makeup and transportation to their Prom. Sissy couldn't let these children not attend their Prom. This is when she founded her most audacious idea yet.
"The Fairy Godmother Project."
For two years, in addition to her annual Christmas donation drives, Sissy organized donations of dresses, shoes, makeup and hair styling services from vendors and professionals around NYC. Sissy ensured every student who otherwise could not afford to attend their Prom in style was treated like a Prince or Princess and given new outfits, hair and makeup services provided by cosmetology professionals and arranged for free Limo services to and from the School.