I’m sure there are many of us who could tell a story about a teacher who once inspired us, made us think about life in a different way or just made learning fun! Today’s Surprise Millionaire did all of those things while accumulating some wealth along the way.
High school chemistry teacher Pat ‘Weird’ Ward inspired his students with his wacky way of teaching chemistry. This led his students to bestow upon him the honorary moniker of ‘Weird’ Ward. Mr. Ward was also the type of teacher who inspired his students to reach for more in life than what they thought they might attain in their Tulsa Oklahoma neighborhoods. So it was no surprise upon his passing that this long time educator left a bequest to education. However, the size and scope of the gift was quite unexpected.
Nancy A. Johnson made history as the first female athletic coach in her Erie County New York school district. This educator and trailblazer left a wonderful surprise for her Alma Mater as well.
A retired math teacher and peanut farmer helps to make college a little more accessible and affordable for Florida students.
This week I am very proud to feature a true Surprise Millionaire from my Alma mater, Missouri State University. This millionaire was neither a student nor professor at the university but rather a hard working secretary. From her homemade clothing to her modest demeanor, no one would have guessed she would one day be a major benefactor to the institution she had given so much of her life to.
It can be hard to go your own way when your family is known for a certain profession or is affiliated with a certain company or industry. However, the rewards of following your passion can far outweigh the risks.
Professor Richard Shineman new the risks and also the rewards of this decision. He went his own way, followed his passion and long outlasted the company his family was known for. And with hard work and frugal living was able to make his world a better place.
What would you be tempted to do if you inherited a small sum of money? Pay off some bills? Buy a new car? What if you did nothing with it, except maybe invest it? And what if you never touched that money and left it to one of your children and they did the same thing? Well if you did, you would be just like the Curtis family.
Retired school teacher Barbara Curtis inherited that aforementioned small sum from her father who had inherited it prior to her. Barbara, known for her frugality knew just what to do with her little windfall and the results were amazing!
With all of the negativity in the news this week, I thought it would be a great time to focus on someone who is doing good in the world. A self-made and some would say, Surprise Millionaire who is giving back to his community and wants to change America one neighborhood at a time.