Celebrating Inspirational Teachers: The $1 Million Value of 1 Teacher

Teachers, coaches and principals are usually the ones who are handing out the trophies to kids. Teachers don’t expect an award for what they do, but in some cases there is no better person that deserves a trophy. When a principal is able to inspire a student and raise over $1 million for her students, she deserves a trophy more than anyone.quote1

Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind “Humans of New York” proved to us how much one principal in particular deserves a trophy. Stanton asked Vidal Chastanet, a 13-year-old boy from Brooklyn, what person influenced him the most in his life. Chastanet let the world know how much his principal, Ms. Lopez, inspired him.

“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us,” Chastanet told Caroline Moss in an interview for Business Insider. “She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And then she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”

Lopez was trying to raise money in order for her students to take a trip to Harvard University. She wanted the students to realize this is a real option for them, and they need to keep their eyes on their future. When Stanton’s photo and story went viral, the photographer joined the cause and raised $700,000 in just FOUR days to go toward Lopez’s Harvard trip. Thanks to Stanton and Lopez, the students of Brownsville, Brooklyn, will be able to make a yearly visit to Harvard University for the next 10 years.

What we love

Here at Trophy Central we love recognizing inspirational teachers. We believe educators are some of the most amazing people. We are enchanted at the impact these people can have on children and the way they are able to turn any one child’s life around. There is no better award than knowing you are able to affect someone’s life in such a positive way.

All of us at Trophy Central wholeheartedly believe that Principal Lopez’ impact on Chastanet is most definitely trophy-worthy!

Nadia Lopez you have won, not only the hearts of your students, but also the hearts of us at Trophy Central. We can only hope people will get inspired to be the best they can be and do a fraction of what you are accomplishing. Brandon Stanton, you have also won our hearts and appreciation. We are so happy there are people in this world like you!

What inspirational teachers have influenced YOU? Comment below and connect with us on social media using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue to tell us who has inspired you and why. We will share our favorite inspirational stories, giving someone the recognition they deserve! And, to learn more about our Random Acts of Trophy-ness: Show Us Your Sue campaign to celebrate everyday heroes who inspire, read on HERE!

Random Acts of Trophy-ness: Show Us Your Sue!

Show us your Sue… and we’ll show you ours!

Earlier this month we announced the Trophy Central Random Acts of Trophy-ness Sue Heck Superhero Award, inspired by the can-do spirit and resilient peppiness of the character played by Eden Sher on ABC’s laugh-out-loud sitcom, The Middle.

Sue Heck has the optimism and tenacity that often goes unrecognized in traditional trophy-giving spheres, and it is our goal to change that! At Trophy Central, we truly do believe that it’s the smile that matters, and we are in the business of delivering smiles — not just to the accomplished jocks and bound-for-Hollywood thespians, but to the underdogs, the dream chasers and the Sue Hecks of the world!

Trophy-Worthy Sue Heck Spirit

We believe that dedication, determination and getting up as many times as you’re knocked down is just as trophy-worthy as scoring the winning soccer goal or the hitting the home run that had everyone in the bleachers cheering.

We at Trophy Central cheer for the Sue Hecks of the world, those who try out for every sport, choir and dance competition imaginable and GIVE IT THEIR ALL— those who don’t make ANY of the teams, groups or casts they try out for — but take it upon themselves to develop their own!

All of us at Trophy Central have been searching for Sue Heck Superstars in the news, on social media and by reaching out to our e-mail list.

Here are some trophy-worthy Sues who have not gone unnoticed by us. We have highlighted them on our social media accounts using the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue and would like to share some of these Sue Heck-worthy winners here.

Girl Honors Late Grandmother By Performing 600 Acts Of Kindness

Eight-year-old Alex McKelvey of Lakewood, Washington, epitomizes Trophy Central’s vision of a Sue Heck Superhero.

After her grandmother passed away, Alex decided to honor her grandma’s life by performing 600 acts of kindness in one year, including leaving quarters in candy dispensers, volunteering at The Rescue Mission in Tacoma, Washington and helping to renovate the Youth Center at the Lakewood YMCA.

Humble and sweet Alex McKelvey has responded to positive media attention to her 600 Acts of Kindness project by saying simply, “I just want to be a nice little girl.”

Journalist Uses Sports to Empower Pakistani Girls

Sports journalist Fatima Saleem launched a sports organization called Enter Go Girl Pakistan so that Pakistani girls ages 5 to 12 could play soccer in a safe environment — and boost their self esteem at the same time. Saleem says “Women start working in the home from a very young age instead of hitting the playground”. Which is why Saleem believes “our girls deserve to enjoy a proper childhood, not just to be babysitters when they are babies themselves.”

Saleem also hopes to use sports to dissolve the fear children have of going back to school after experiencing the trauma of terrorist attacks.

“Sports has always been a means to bring all nations to one common place,” Saleem says. “Whether they are rival cultures or nations, sports breaks all such boundaries and brings them face to face in a positive manner.” Is Fatima Saleem Sue Heck Superstar material? We at Trophy Central think so!

Now it’s YOUR Turn! Show Us Your Sue!

All of us at Trophy Central are eagerly awaiting to hear YOUR Sue Heck Superhero stories! We want to reward the real-life Sue Heck spirit with our trophies and awards.

Do you know a real-life Sue Heck who is making the world a better place but whose gusto and winning-spirit is going largely unnoticed? Then Show Us Your Sue!

Even if the rest of the world isn’t rewarding the Sue Heck spirit, we at Trophy Central want to make YOUR Sue Heck smile!

Because Sue Heck never, EVER gives up! THIS is the Sue Heck can-do resilience that we are eagerly awaiting to reward — and an award-worthy Sue Heck quote that is one of our faves:

“I have not made a HUNDRED things, but I STILL try out! When they tell me that I didn’t make the team, I show up and ask to be MANAGER. When there are no parts in the play for me, I ask to make the PROGRAM! The more I fail, the STRONGER I get!”

Does this winning underdog spirit sound like someone YOU know? Then Show Us Your Sue!

Nominate YOUR Sue Heck in the comments section below or send us an e-mail telling us why YOUR Sue Heck deserves Trophy Central’s Sue Heck Superhero Award! We will be checking hashtags around social media, so use the hashtag #ShowUsYourSue to nominate the special Sue Heck in YOUR life. We will reward our favorite Sue Heck victory stories by sending out trophies to our favorite Sue Heck Superheroes and Sue Heck Superstars!

Here’s to the underdogs, dream chasers, go-getters and Sue Hecks!

PS: Looking for some inspiration in your life and for some of Sue Heck’s undying passion and resilience to rub off on you? Then watch this clip from The Middle where Sue Heck vehemently explains why she never, EVER gives up!

Then SHOW US YOUR SUE! Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus and #ShowUsYourSue! We can’t wait to reward your efforts — and award your Sues!