- A teacher promised in 1999 to give an all-expenses paid trip to Disneyland to any of his 35 students who’ll graduate from a four-year course
- One former student struggled and graduated 18 years later; successfully redeeming his reward
- Teacher George Abeyta said “That’s the direction that I hope we’re heading”
Teacher George Abeyta fulfilled a promise he made in 1999 — to give an all-expenses paid trip to Disneyland to any of his 35 graduating Grade 8 students who’ll make it to a college graduation.
After 18 years, a former student, Stanford Ware, graduated from college and deemed it proper to redeem his Disneyland trip prize — especially as the promise had no expiration date.
Through Facebook, Ware got hold of his former teacher and proudly showed his certificate for one trip to Disneyland together with his graduation certificate in Biological Science from the Colorado State.
Ware said in a KTWO-TV report, he could’ve achieved his graduation sooner but that it just wasn’t in the cards for him.
He failed at the University of Washington in 2004 and felt uncertain over the prospect of finishing his education.
His struggles included five years of labor in the oil field and working on oil rigs, but he didn’t give up. He went back to school in Colorado, and graduated in 2015.
For Abeyta, what Ware did was a job well done as it meant that he could inspire students to attend college after all the years of teaching at Fort Washakie.
“That’s the direction that I hope we’re heading, where every kid is planning on it,” said Abeyta. “Where it’s not a question, but an expectation.”
How about the former student? Well, he’s planning to take his wife and daughter to Disneyland next summer; hoping his accomplishment would also inspire his child to follow the same dream.