Teachers face many challenges every day, including commuting.
While teaching is a noble profession, not all teachers have the means to afford a car. This sad reality affects the teachers’ level of job satisfaction as well as their overall motivation.
A Match teacher in Los Angeles was blessed with generous high school students who gifted him a car and insurance.
Julio Castro, a 31 year-old math teacher at YULA Boys’ High School, spent two hours driving to get to school and another two hours returning home.
He used his scooter for Santa Clarita’s bus stop and then he would take a 90-minute bus ride to Century City.
He would then use his scooter to get back to school after he got off the bus. He missed the bus several times and had to wait an additional half hour or hour before he could get on the next bus.
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, Castro used it to motivate himself and show his students that hard work can pay off.
“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. Be grateful for the things you already have and then move forward. And one day some good things will happen.’”
Castro was right and now he is able to enjoy the fruits of his hard labor. His kind students gave him a Mazda dark with leather seats, a sunroof and a Bose stereo.
Knowing how expensive petrol nowadays is, they bought their teacher a year’s worth of gasoline. They also bought him car insurance which provides financial protection in the event of an accident.
Galpin Motors was a non-profit organization that helped the students raise over $30,000 during their summer.
Castro is extremely grateful to his students for their immense efforts. “I feel surprised. I feel special. My students are special. They are like my kids as well,” Castro said.
Castro is now able to spend more time with his children and his girlfriend thanks to his new car. “Now that I have a car, I get to drop off my kids every morning. I can also use the car to get to school with plenty of time left over so that I can plan lessons. Then on my way back, traffic is still bad, but I’ll be able to make it for dinner.”
His students are extremely happy to help their teacher and are confident that he will find 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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