Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Friend, Jen

My friend, Jen.   

Jen is a teacher.
(Jen is also a VERY successful real estate agent but that isn't the point of this story).
She teaches DECA (a marketing/advertising elective class) in a high school.
She teaches part-time (90 students total).
Her program is completely self-sufficient and each year, 1/3 of her students qualify for Nationals.
And they win.

In other words, Jen makes a difference.

A few months ago, my friend, Jen was told she would not have a job next fall.
The administration had political rational reasons for the termination of her position.
A program, which raises $50,000 each year and is completely self-sufficient, would be cut.

Jen's students and their parents disagreed with the decision.
They asked the school how much money it would retake to rehire Jen..
The district said Jen could retain her job if the kids raised $24,501 to pay for Jen's salary.

The deadline to raise the money was last night.

At 7PM on June 7, Jen answered the phone.
Jen heard a voice tell her an anonymous donor wrote a check for $24, 501.
Jen had to pull over and ask the caller to repeat herself.

The caller told her that she made a difference to kids.

I couldn't agree more.


  1. Chelle...thank you! It has been a long, rough year for me and this news changed everything in one split second. You said it best...I make a difference. For all the mornings that I grumble as I roll out of bed asking why I do it. I remember now. Thank you for sharing my story. It humbles me to know that people feel this way about me. It really does. I will strive to be the best teacher I can be next year and to maybe roll out of bed with a little more zest.

    I will say, if it was you on the other end of this, your kids would have done it for you. Thank you for making a difference to not only your kids but to your friends and family as well.

    I love you!

  2. Ms. Singer, as I then knew Jen, was my marketing teacher and DECA advisor. I respected and admired her as not just a leadership figure but as a mentor. With her guidance, my partner and I placed in the top 20 at Nationals twice. This was not because we were great, but because Jen was. She inspired me andmotivated me, and she didn't just teach us about marketing, she taught us about life as well. She fueled my passions for travel and adventure and reassured me I could accomplish any goal I chose.

    Now, 9 years later, I call her Jen as a dear friend. Whenever I am in Portland we meet up to continue discussions about life where she continues to teach me. My life is obviously not the only one she has touched, and my whole hearted gratitude goes out to the anonymous donor who has made it possible for Jen to continue touching students' lives. There is none more deserving than Jen.

  3. Jen, this huge act of confidence in your ability to change the course of history. Anything is possible if we allow ourselves to envision a dream.

    May you continue to thrive and inspire and dream.

    All the best to you,
    Kim Rosenberg

  4. I too agree wholeheartedly with your post and am incredibly thankful to that anonymous donor. Years ago Jen made a HUGE difference in my life which not only meant a lot then, it helped to shape the person I am today. She not only introducing me to what it means to strive for greatness but she also showed me that hard work, passion and having fun go hand in hand. While I don't think I can ever fully express how much she means to me, I think of her often and am so glad she'll be able to continue making a difference in the lives of students.


What say ye?