A 6th-grade teacher wrote 'Invite me to your Harvard graduation!' -- 21 years later, the student did just that
A sixth-grade teacher from Yuma, Arizona, Toensing made a strong impact on one of her students 21 years ago.
At the end of the school year in 1997, Mrs. Toensing, wrote a note on the student's report card: "It has been a joy to have you in class. Keep up the good work! Invite me to your Harvard graduation!."
This week, the student, Christin Gilmer graduated from Harvard as a doctor of public health.
Mrs. Toensing wrote a note on this 12-year-old's report card back in 1997.
Gilmer who is now 33, was only 12 at the time, but she kept the message all these years.
"It meant a lot to me to know that outside my mom, someone who knew me so intimately believed in my dreams and my ability to accomplish them," Gilmer told CNN.
Gilmer, who wrote a thank you note prior to her graduation, said Toensing was the first person to encourage her in the journey of studying public health.
"Ms. Judy Toensing, taught me about current events, global health, and human rights. She was the first person who passionately conveyed the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS to me," the letter said.
This letter quickly grabbed the attention of school administrators, who decided to honor Toensing by inviting her to the 2018 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's convocation, at no cost to her.