Teachers face different challenges every day and one of these is commuting.
Though teaching is a noble and significant job, not all teachers are well-paid to afford a car. This sad reality affects the teachers’ level of job satisfaction as well as their overall motivation.
Luckily for a Math teacher in Los Angeles, he was blessed with generous and grateful high school students who gifted him with a car, including insurance and gasoline.
Julio Castro, a 31-year-old Math teacher at YULA Boys High School spent two hours commuting to go to school and another 2 hours going back home.
He used his scooter to reach the bus stop in Santa Clarita and from there; he would endure a 90-minute bus trip to Century City.
After getting off the bus, he would again use his scooter to reach the school. There were times that he missed the bus and had to wait for another half hour or an hour.
His students were aware of their teachers’ commuting struggles and were very grateful for his hard work despite his situation.
“He made sure I understood all of the material by sitting down with me during his lunch breaks and sacrificing his time after school where he could be getting to the bus stop going back home,” said Joshua Grendash, one of the high school students who helped Castro.
Commuting every day was very challenging for Castro but this didn’t make him give up on his passion for teaching. Instead, he used it as a motivation to work harder and show his students how hard work can pay off one day.
“I made the best out of it,” Castro said. “I always told them, ‘When life doesn’t go your way, what do you do? Don’t cry about it. Don’t whine about it. Just be grateful for what you already have, and then move on. And one day some good things will happen.’”
Castro was right about it and now, he can enjoy the fruit of his hard work. His kind students gifted him with a dark blue Mazda with leather seats, a sunroof, and Bose stereo.
Knowing how expensive petrol nowadays is, they bought their teacher a year’s worth of gasoline. They also got him car insurance, which serves as financial protection in cases of accidents.
The kind-hearted high school students spent the entire summer raising over $30,000 with the help of several organizations such as Galpin Motors and The Change Reaction, a non-profit organization.
For this immense effort, Castro is very thankful to his students. “I feel surprised. I feel special. So thank you to my students. They are like my kids as well,” Castro said.
With his new car, Castro can now spend more time with his kids and his girlfriend. “Now that I have a car, I get to drop off my kids every morning. And then coming here with time to spare, I can use it on my lesson plans. Then on my way back, traffic is still bad, but I’ll be able to make it for dinner.”
His students are very happy to help their math teacher and they are confident that he will find some ways to pay it forward.
According to Castro’s student, Charlie Leeds, they’ve been taught certain values like empathy and Castro is the embodiment of that.
“With this car, with this new opportunity, he’s only going to find more and more ways to help other people around him.”
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