Devoted teacher helping students with disabilities leaves them $1 million after death

The inspiring story of Genevieve Via Cava is a concrete proof of her love, not only for her vocation as a teacher, but for her students as well. Seven years after her demise, the educational institution she cared for was surprised by an unexpected reminder on her dedication for her love of teaching.

Genevieve was a teacher of Dumont Public Schools of New Jersey for 45 years. Dedicating her youthful years teaching, helping, and caring for students with learning disabilities and special needs. After 45 years of service as an educator, Genevieve did not cease to demonstrate her continuous support to the school she dedicated her skills with.

After she retired in year 1990, the admirable teacher continued to visit Dumont Public Schools, checking how the classes are and dropping by the superintendent’s office to see if they need her assistance.

Genevieve was not only a great educator, but is good in handling her finances as well. She was able to acquire a small property. And since the admirable teacher had no immediate family of her own, she chose to leave the small fortune she invested as a donation meant to financially support scholarships for special education students who are aiming to seek post-secondary education.

Genevieve who died last 2011, enlisted Dumont Public Schools as the beneficiary of her property in her last will and testament. However, it was just recently that the Dumont Public Schools have received a check from Genevieve’s estate which amounts to one million dollars. It is truly a gift the school never thought of receiving!

The School Superintendent, Emanuele Triggiano, “One day she quietly told me she accumulated a large sum of money and she planned on donating it,” Triggiano recalls how Genevieve shared her plan however time passed by and the thought was long forgotten.

Triggiano refers Genevieve’s gift as a timely blessing. Triggiano recalls the times Genevieve would share her endeavor to help the students and as well as the times the late educator expressed happiness working in their school.

The school district’s business administrator, Kevin Cartotto admitted that he was shocked by Genevieve’s donation. According to him, this is the biggest gift he has seen in his years with the school district.

Thanks to Genevieve’s generosity, starting next spring’s high school graduates, scholarships will be available to one or more special education students who are aiming to continue pursuing their education.

The amount of scholarship will vary based on how much interest will the $1 million donation will generate. As of now, the maximum financial assistance they could offer is $25,000 per grantee.

“In the event the scholarship fund grows to the extent that two or more scholarships can be made available, we can then give it to additional students,” Triggiano said.

Richard Jablonski, a close friend and the executor of Genevieve’s last will, shared how Genevieve was an excellent money saver. Due to the hardships her family faced during the Great Depression, Genevieve learned at an early age about the value of money.

Richard even recounted an event in which Genevieve would only buy items coming from the 70% off racks. According to him, the late educator wouldn’t even buy the hearing aids she needed.

He also shared in an interview the countless times he witnessed how much Genevieve was loved by her students. There were times where they would run into former students who take time to catch up with their former teacher.

“Her name will go on forever, and rightfully so.” Richard said, happy that a lot of people are now aware of Genevieve’s admirable character.

Watch the video below and be inspired by the touching story of a dedicated teacher, who after 45 years of relentless service, was able to continue to help learners with disabilities even beyond her death.

Video | CBS New York

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