BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Destiny Cooper, a pillar in the Baton Rouge community, has been missing since May 3.

“She has given so much to this community, to her students, to her friends, and we just want our friend back,” said Alex Torres, one of her close friends.

Cooper had been a teacher at McKinley High School for nearly two decades and touched many hearts.

“She’s been a warrior for equity in public schools, she was that teacher that everybody needed to have and for us younger educators, she was the mentor that we needed,” Torres said.

Cooper co-founded Humanities Amped, a non-profit, and was given the Angel Award by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation in 2019.

“She was also our safety, so we don’t feel safe or easy, knowing that she’s not safe right now,” said former student and former co-worker, Ashanta Gleason.

Online fliers alerting to her disappearance have circulated around the internet. In a post, it said Cooper is “experiencing severe post-trauma and mental health challenges.”

Her students said she was a safe space when they faced mental health challenges. Now, they want to give her the same support.

“Just as she saved me in those times when I couldn’t save myself, I am willing to do whatever I can to save her,” Gleason said.

Sightings of Cooper have been reported around the downtown Baton Rouge area. Gleason and her friends are doing their best to check out every tip.

“So I get a text, I get a call,” Gleason said. “We have a group of us that just gets up and go, you know, immediately, and try to see and follow up on those leads.”

The online poster asks that if you see her, contact the authorities but avoid making contact.

“Destiny right now just requires a lot of medical help right now, she is not at her prime,” said Torres. “She is not as she was, so she might not recognize people if we are trying to look for her, but what is important is that we do look for her.”

As the days get warmer, Cooper’s support team is also worried about her physical health.

“It’s starting to get really hot, she hasn’t, from what we’ve heard, been eating or hydrating as she probably should have,” Torres said. “She’s exposed to the elements, we’re just worried that she’s maybe very disoriented right now, and she just really needs to find the medical assistance that she requires.”

But her community is not about to give up the fight to bring her home.

“Destiny we love you so much, I hope you can see how much of an impact that you have made on all of us and we just want you home,” Torres said.

“I know she would probably be like, Ashanta this is not your battle to fight, I will fight it for her, I will be there just as she fought every battle for me when I was helpless,” Gleason said. “I couldn’t help myself when I was sixteen, but Ms. Cooper fought every day to keep me safe so I would tell her that I am now being your safety, just as you were mine.”