Selfless Teacher Pays Student’s Tuition

One math teacher and a promise adds up to a moving story of friendship and commitment.

Tony Apuzzi, a math teacher in the Bronx sold his prize possessions, including signed Yankees baseballs, in order to put a past student through college, according to The Jackson Sun.

Jaselle Ruiz was Apuzzi’s math student when she was about 12 years-old. Raised by her grandparents, Ruiz promised them she would become a doctor one day. Apuzzi saw she had great potential and believed in her dream, so he made her a promise—receive good grades and stay out of trouble and Apuzzi would pay for her college tuition.

Ruiz achieved her dream and is pre-med at Lehman College. And Apuzzi kept his promise. To pay for Ruiz’s schooling, Apuzzi sold his valuables including signed Yankee baseballs to Steiner Sports Memorabilia. But, it wasn’t enough. However, the owner of Steiner Sports having heard of the heart-felt story, contacted Yankee closer Mariano Rivera and both presented Apuzzi with $6,000 from the Rivera Foundation, according to The Jackson Sun. Apuzzi now had what he needed to put Ruiz through school.

As I read this article, I was moved. A teacher saw something in a child (she was only in sixth-grade after all) and made a promise to her, which he always remembered and followed through with years later. Apuzzi didn’t just make a promise. He made a commitment to this young girl.

It is nice to see there are still genuine and good-hearted people in the world– People who are trying to make the world a better place, one person at a time.

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