The Ripple Effect

You just never know who you might inspire…

Like many baby boomers, my siblings and I experienced the bittersweet gift of inheritance when our parents passed away.   And then by a fluke of timing, an opportunity opened up to donate money to my alma mater, the University of California, Davis.  You see, I’m a proud 1977 UCD grad with a B.S. in Dietetics, and I got through college with lots of financial help: grants, work experience, loans, and scholarships.  So I was happy to give back however I could.

My sister, Dina Bosby, an elementary teacher in Auburn, CA, and I pooled enough of our inheritance to create an endowment in the name of our parents.  Thus, the Joseph A. and Jean M. Teresi Memorial Scholarship will go on in perpetuity (theoretically)!

Nick Dole of UC Davis, student Bez Tabesh, my sister Dina and I celebrate at the scholarship event.

With great excitement, Dina and I and our spouses attended the 2019 UC Davis Scholarship & Fellowship Celebration on April 25.  We were eager to hear the first recipient of our award, fourth-year transfer student Bez Tabesh, share his inspirational story.  He would be the only student speaker at the event.  And although we had absolutely nothing to do with selecting the recipient, Bez was the perfect applicant:  his family lives in the same northern California county where Dina and I grew up, he’s a long-distance bicyclist (also a big part of my past), and he’s a personal trainer studying nutrition with a goal of becoming a physical therapist.  Wow, talk about connecting the dots!

Under a hot sun at the Bueller Alumni Center, here are the unexpected ripple effects we witnessed last week:

  • Bez was so inspired by our gift and personal connection that he turned around and donated a check of his own to the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
  • The Dean was so inspired that she’s thinking of starting a scholarship in the name of her parents.
  • My brother-in-law, Jeff, now wants to turn a family scholarship in Texas into a more lasting endowment.
  • There were tears and hugs all around, and promises to stay in touch.
  • And it felt absolutely, unbelievably great to give!

So never underestimate the power of your giving, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you!  You just never know whose life will be touched, and in turn, who they will help by passing it forward!

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