Teachers are such important people in our lives. Sadly, they’re not recognized nearly as much as they should be. But every so often, students will come together to recognize a teacher that plays a very important role in their lives.
One math teacher in Los Angeles is beloved by his students – so much so that they surprised him with keys to his very own car!
31-year-old Julio Castro is a teacher at the YULA Boys High School. He lives in Santa Clarita Valley. LA traffic is bad enough when you have a car, but when you don’t commutes to work can be that bit more difficult.
According to the LA Times, Castro didn’t have a car of his own, instead needing to rely on a combination of a scooter and the bus to get to his teaching job and back every day. That meant that he woke up at 4:30 am every morning just to commute four hours to his job. Every. Single. Day. It was exhausting.
The trek back afterwards wasn’t any better. He’d often end up getting home as late as 9:30 pm – often missing his own three young kids that were asleep in bed. Then, one day, on of his students, Joshua Gerendash, caught Castro looking at cars online. That is when an idea was born. Gerendash wanted to find a way to help Castro get a car.
According to the outlet, Gerendash explained, “He still makes sure to devote all this time to students. He’ll skip his lunch break to help a student and stay after school. He also helps students who aren’t in his classes. He’s really, really, really devoted to our futures.”
Thus began a several months-long campaign amongst Castro’s students to raise funds to help buy him a car, all while unbeknownst to Castro! The students came through, managing to raise over $30,000 in order to gift him a 2019 Mazda CX-3. On top of that, the students also managed to buy him a year’s worth of gasoline and car insurance. It was presented to him during an assembly.
Watch the moment he gets his surprise in the video below:
Castro said to KABC. “I feel surprised. I feel special. So thank you to my students. They are like my kids as well. 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.”
One senior at the school, Charlie Leeds, said to the Los Angeles Times. “No matter what happens with him, he is gonna find some way to pay it forward. We’ve been taught certain values like ’empathy’ and to ‘treat your fellow person as you’d want to be treated’ Mr. 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.”
How sweet these students are! What do you think of Mr. Castro’s surprise? Let us know!