Students Surprise Teacher by Giving Him a Car after Finding Out He Commutes 4 Hours Every Day
Watching their teacher go above and beyond to explain complex trigonometric and algebraic equations made a group of high school students do something extraordinary. They gave him the surprise of a lifetime when he was least expecting it.
If we talk about the people who help children grow to become kind adults, teachers will make it to the top of the list. For many children, their teachers are their sources of inspiration. Students look up to them as their mentors.
While most students appreciate their teacher's efforts, only a few go the extra mile to thank them. Today's story is about a group of students who did something extraordinary to make their math teacher feel special. Scroll down to find out what they did.
Julio Castro. | Source: youtube.com/ABC7
A Hardworking Teacher
This heartwarming story from Los Angeles will light up your day in these stressful times when we mostly hear bad news. It revolves around Julio Castro, a high school teacher who devoted most of his time to explaining complex mathematical concepts to his students.
Castro lived in his Santa Clarita apartment, about two hours from his workplace, Yula High School Boys Division, in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. Commuting to and from school was no less than a struggle for Castro.
Despite traveling for four hours daily, Castro never hesitated to show up at work. On weekdays, he would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and set out on his scooter to reach the Metro stop. From there, he would ride a bus for about 90 minutes to arrive at the Jewish school.
Julio Castro. | Source: youtube.com/ABC7
Sacrificing His Free Time
"I wait another half hour or an hour," said Castro about days when he would miss his bus. Amazingly, the tiresome commute never lowered his energy levels. He was always ready to answer every question his students had. Joshua Gerendash, a senior at the school, said:
"He made sure I understood all 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."
The devoted teacher also helped out children who didn't belong to his class. After spending the entire day working with his beloved students, whom he liked to call his "kids," he would set out on his two-hour-long journey home.
Julio Castro during an interview. | Source: youtube.com/ABC7
The Secret Plan
When Castro would step into his house at around 9:30 p.m., his children would be fast asleep. Because of the lengthy commute, Castro missed the chance to spend quality time with his family, but he never complained.
However, his students were aware of his pain, so they decided to surprise him with something extraordinary. A group of students devised a plan to give back to their math teacher. They secretly started collecting donations to buy something for Castro.
After months of collecting funds, the students raised about $30,000 and bought a 2019 Mazda CX-3 for Castro. They believed it would help him save time while commuting to school.
The students executed their plan on the second day of the school year. They pretended that there was an appreciation assembly for all teachers and sent an invite to Castro. What he saw next was beyond his imagination.
As soon as he entered the meeting, his students led him to a dark-blue hatchback waiting for him outside the school building. It was hard for him to believe that his students had bought the car for him after raising money. He said:
"I feel surprised. I feel special. So thank you to my students. They are like my kids as well."
Reciprocating the Generosity
All his life, Castro taught his students to be grateful no matter the circumstances. He taught them never to whine or complain because he believed there was always light at the end of the tunnel. He added:
"Don't do it because you're waiting for a prize. Do it because it comes from your heart."
When his students gifted the car to him, they knew he would radiate generosity to others around him, and they were right. Castro revealed that he would spend his spare time preparing his lesson plans after arriving at school early. He added:
"Then, on my way back, traffic is still bad, but I'll be able to make it for dinner."
Castro's new car would make his commute easy and allow him to spend time with his children and girlfriend. He was beyond grateful to his students and said he had never expected them to make a special effort to ease his pain.
Castro's unique story teaches us that being kind and generous never goes to waste. Instead, it comes back to us in some way. Share this story with your friends and family to inspire them.
Click here to read another story about a janitor who became a principal at the school he cleaned for 12 years. His inspirational journey proves nothing is impossible.