Massachusetts Teacher Nikki Bollerman Wins $150,000, Gives Everything to School
A Massachusetts elementary school teacher who won $150,000 in an online holiday contest sponsored by a credit card company has donated the entire amount to her school, which serves low-income, high-risk students.
ABC News reports Nikki Bollerman, 26, a third-grade teacher at the UP Academy charter school in Dorchester, won the small fortune in Capital One’s #WishForOthers contest, in which participants uploaded photos and videos to social media sites explaining their holiday wishes for individuals, families or organizations.
Bollerman wished that every one of her students could take home a book for the holidays.
“My #WishForOthers is that my voracious, adorable, hardworking, loving scholars all leave for their December break with a book in their hand,” wrote Bollerman in her entry. “Their love for reading and life is contagious and I would love for them to have the gift of a book they love to read over break.”
Not only did Capital One fund three books for each of Bollerman’s students, it also awarded her a $150,000 grand prize. The books she selected were: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” “My Father’s Dragon” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
WBUR reports Bollerman said she never really thought twice about what she would do with her grand prize money.
“To me there was no other real option. I mean, I wished for it for the kids,” she said. “Where else would it go other than them? As you can see they are so wonderful, and I just wanted it to go to them.”
On Monday, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh honored Bollerman and her act of extraordinary generosity.
“I want to thank Nikki for your kindness and your humility, and you are certainly a shining example of great things to the city of Boston,” Walsh said. “We are grateful for your hard work and generosity. You have inspired lots of people with your selfless act.”
UP Academy Dorchester is a year-old public charter school whose 700 students have achieved significant academic improvements since its inception. Over that period, students raised their Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) math and English proficiency scores the most of any school in the state’s history.
“We are so proud of Nikki, her fellow teachers, and all of our scholars,” the school wrote on its website.