Group of high school students surprise California teacher with car, gas, insurance

LOS ANGELES, California — Students at Yula High School Boys Division surprised a math teacher with a car on Thursday.

Julio Castro traveled to and from work using the public bus, sometimes commuting more than two hours one way. Castro lives in Santa Clarita, and the Jewish private school where he teaches is located in Los Angeles’ Pico-Robertson neighborhood.

“It is roughly two hours. It depends, if I miss my bus, I wait another half hour or an hour,” said Castro.

A group of students spent the summer raising more than $30,000, getting donations from various organizations like Galpin Motors and the nonprofit The Change Reaction.

“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.

The students surprised Castro with a 2019 Mazda CX-3.

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

Castro said with his new car he will now get to spend more time with his girlfriend and kids.

“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,” he said.

The students also surprised Castro with a year of gas and a year of car insurance.

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