CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise changes teacher's outlook
Students at the West Side Educational Training Campus are on a course correction in their lives.
"You don't know how happy it makes me to see them succeed," Rene Coronado, a teacher for Education Service Center, Region 20 said.
Coronado helps adult students obtain their GED.
"I was there,” the teacher explained. “I know exactly what they're going through."
Coronado got his degree late in life.
As a teacher for adult education and literacy, he's made it his mission to put students on a path to success.
Veronica Hernandez is a 37-year-old mother who takes Mr. Coronado’s class.
She said he's made a real difference in her life.
So she secretly nominated him for the CASH FOR KINDNESS prize.
Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf surprised her teacher during his class.
Hernandez came to the front of the room and shared what his work meant to her.
“I called Ryan because I want you to know how much I appreciate being able to call you my teacher,” she told him.
She explained how he helped keep her focused, never judged her, bought school supplies for her and even worked around her family’s schedule.
He's enabling Hernandez to better the lives of her family with a future career of her own.
“You motivate me because you believe in us,” she told him in front of the class. “Because you know that we have families and life happens, and we tend to forget about ourselves. But you always let us know that you have hope for us too. And you haven't given up on us, and we're not going to give up on you too."
Mr. Coronado didn’t know what to say.
"That was unexpected and very gracious,” he told her.
The father of two had been contemplating a change in his own life.
He found himself at a crossroads with his profession.
"You know, I've been having doubts lately as to if I'm making a difference," he told her.
Coronado works two jobs just to make ends meet.
"You probably did this at a very good time for me,” he told Hernandez. “Because I've been thinking about moving on and doing something else. I've always felt like I've had something with this, a passion for this, and I guess I've been losing it lately."
That's when Wolf shared how his nomination came with an award.
“Put your hand out for me my friend," Wolf said.
He handed Coronado a stack of $100 bills on behalf of Fox San Antonio.
Coronado counted the money aloud in front of his students.
"$100, $200, $300, $400, $500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1000!” he said. “Oh my God! I can't take this. I can't take this."
He's the second recipient to receive a $1,000 since CASH FOR KINDNESS more than doubled the award.
Coronado said he didn't expect to be the one learning a lesson from a student.
“So thank you very much," Hernandez said while reaching out to give her teacher a hug.
And it was the most important lesson of all.
"$1000 on CASH FOR KINDNESS, and it has gotten me back on track with what my passion is," Coronado said.
Click here to nominate someone for the CASH FOR KINDNESS prize