High school students raise funds to buy a new car for their teacher
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — Three high school students hope to help their math teacher get a new vehicle.
Aden Petrick, Alayas Medina and Carlitos Rodriguez are seniors at the Academy of Westminster Charter Schools. They say earlier this week they noticed their teacher, Adam Ruhnke, seemed a bit depressed.
“He posted about our class saying someone needed my car more than me I guess,” Rodriguez said.
According to Ruhnke, someone stole his only working vehicle from his driveway over Labor Day weekend.
“It’s an older car, so the police say it probably left at this point,” Ruhnke said.
Ruhnke commutes from Greeley to teach at Westminster. He is also a single father of seven children.
“I’m doing fine financially, but yeah, giving up a new car is something I don’t think I can do,” he said.
He owns a second vehicle which he says uses twice as much gas as his main vehicle which was stolen. Additionally, Ruhnke said the second vehicle was not roadworthy.
“He said he had to walk to the auto parts store several times to fix his other car,” Petrick said.
“Out of a teacher’s income, it’s like I feel really bad for the guy,” Rodriguez said.
Teacher fundraising ‘just exploded out of nowhere’
The teens agreed that they wanted to help in any way they could.
“It started yesterday at the end of my fifth period. One of the students took a picture of me and I said, “Oh, I don’t want the picture to be all over the place,” Ruhnke said.
The students had other plans. They put it online with a GoFundMe they created to solicit donations.
“What were we expecting, like a few hundred dollars? We’ll just give it to him, call it good. And then it exploded out of nowhere,” Rodriguez said.
In one day, they raised over $2,000 from students, parents, staff and former faculty.
“I’m absolutely blown away by what they can do on their own,” Ruhnke said. “Really grateful. Humbled. So impressed with my students.
The students say they just want to put a smile on the face of a teacher who touched so many students.
“Although you could tell he was a little more depressed than normal, he still tries and showed up to teach us the best he could, and honestly I think that’s probably a good example for everyone in the class. It’s not going to be perfect 100% of the time,” Medina said.
When asked how the money would help, Ruhnke replied, “I would be able to get a little car that I could afford to ride here and teach them.”
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