On Monday, June 7, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price delivered nearly $50,000 in scholarship funds to 33 IUSD class of 2021 graduates as part of a special connection and promise that began six years ago. In 2015, for an annual letter writing assignment, Woodbury Elementary School sixth-grade teacher, Hilary Dimitruk (now Hilary Gray) and her class wrote to Seattle-based CEO Dan Price. Mr. Price had cut his million-dollar annual salary to $70,000 in order to pay his then 120 employees a minimum annual salary of $70,000 each. Just as the Woodbury students were moved by Mr. Price’s actions, Mr. Price was moved by the student letters he received and made a surprise visit to their class six years ago. At the conclusion of his visit, Mr. Price made the promise to each of the 33 students that if they write him a letter every year until they graduate, he will set aside $1,000 for each student for a scholarship toward college. All 33 students upheld their end of the deal and wrote Mr. Price every year, sharing what was happening in their lives and the work they were doing in the community to pay it forward.
Yesterday, Mrs. Gray’s former sixth grade class gathered at Woodbury Elementary for the reunion, in which they reconnected with each other, Mrs. Gray and Mr. Price. As an additional surprise, Mr. Price delivered checks for $1,500 instead of $1,000, accounting for interest over the last six years. He also surprised Mrs. Gray with a check in recognition of her hard work as a teacher and the one who initiated this special connection.
For the original coverage in 2015 on the NBC Nightly News, visit https://nbcnews.to/2TaFjGM.