During the holiday season, Capital One hosted a contest - #WishForOthers - to promote the spirit of giving. Nikki Bollerman, a 26-year old teacher, wished "that my vivacious, loving third-grade scholars all took a book home with them over December break."

Capital One liked the charter school teacher's submission and honored her students by buying each of them three books. The company also gave Bollerman a $150,000 grand prize, which she turned right around and donated back to her fledgling, one-year-old school - the UP Academy Dorchester.

In a ceremony last week, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, "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. We are grateful for your hard work and generosity. You have inspired lots of people with your selfless act."

The most meaningful part of the ceremony, for us and likely for Bollerman, is that her students were there to cheer for her.

With teachers like her, it should come as little surprise that the recently failed public school is making a remarkable turnaround as a 700 student charter academy.


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