Six-year pledge between Irvine students and a Seattle-based CEO turns into nearly $ 50,000 in college scholarships – OCDE Newsroom
In 2015, Hilary Dimitruk (now Hilary Gray), the sixth grade of Woodbury Elementary School teacher, saw a story on the news about a young Seattle entrepreneur and CEO who cut his million dollar annual salary to replace his then 120 employees Minimum annual salary of $ 70,000 per person.
Inspired by his actions, Gray had her class write letters to CEO Dan Price, moved by her kind gesture. Price made a surprise visit to Irvine campus and asked students to keep writing him at the end of each school year until graduation.
And here their six-year relationship began.
At the end of his visit, the 33 Irvine students each pledged to keep writing to Price. In return, when they finished high school and gave him their final letters, he gave each student a $ 1,000 scholarship.
On Monday, June 7, nearly half a dozen years later, Price kept that promise by returning to Woodbury to personally donate more than $ 50,000 in scholarships to graduates. As an added bonus, students each received $ 1,500 instead of the original $ 1,000 for the past six years of interest.
In a solemn ceremony, the students gathered in the courtyard of their former elementary school to receive the checks. During the presentation, Price also surprised Gray with a check in recognition of her hard work as a teacher and whoever initiated this particular connection.
According to the Orange County Register, Price read every single letter for the past six years and told students that their words gave him some insight into their view of society.
“It was wonderful, nice to be a part of, and it also made me realize that there is nothing that one of these kids wouldn’t do,” Price said.
“These students give me hope for a change in which we could have a better world.”