Jan. 18: Teachers Change Lives

Teacher Tony Apuzzi first met Jasalle Ruiz when she was “a rowdy sixth grader” at Intermediate School 120 in the Bronx, reports the Daily News.  When he left for another job, Ruiz’s grandmother told him, “You’ve changed my granddaughter’s life.  Please remain a part of her life after you leave.”

Apuzzi kept in touch with Ruiz in the ensuing years and supported her in all her endeavors.  After receiving her associate’s degree from Bronx Community College in 2010, she was accepted into the College of New Rochelle, but unable to afford the tuition.   That’s when her former teacher changed her life once again.

Apuzzi sold part of his prized collection of baseball memorabilia for $3,000 so he could help pay Ruiz’s tuition.  And when a friend of Apuzzi’s wrote to the Yankees about the situation, pitcher Mariano Rivera donated $6,000 from his own foundation towards Ruiz’s education.  “Nobody has ever done what he [Apuzzi] has done for me,” said Ruiz, now 21 and hoping to be a doctor.  “He’s always been there when I needed him.”

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.

(Proverbs 13:14)

Lord, bless all adults who mentor and encourage youth.

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