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A math teacher at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys High School was pleasantly surprised when his students presented him with a most generous gift this week — a brand new car.

Julio Castro, who lives in Santa Clarita Valley, had a more than two hour commute each way to come teach at the YULA Boys High School in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Castro would typically wake up at at 4:30 AM, when he would take his scooter for a 7-mile trip to a bus stop. From there, it was a 90 minute bus ride to reach Century City, after which he would complete the trip to school with his scooter.

“I made the best out of it,” Castro told the LA Times. “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. Just be grateful for what you already have, and then move on. And one day some good things will happen.’”

And now a good thing has happened.

Castro’s students, acutely aware of how hard his commute was, raised more than $30,000 over the summer to buy him a 2019 Mazda CX-3. The gift also included one year’s worth of gasoline and car insurance.

The gift was a token of appreciation from his students who appreciate the hard work he puts in to help them succeed.

“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 Gerendash, a senior at the school, told KABC.

Castro for his part was appreciative of the gift, and the lifestyle change that would come along with it.

“I feel surprised. I feel special. So thank you to my students. They are like my kids as well,” Castro told KABC. “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.”

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