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High School Students Try to Bring Kevin Bacon for Final Prom - The Footloose Star Has an Unexpected Response
Uplifting News

High School Students Try to Bring Kevin Bacon for Final Prom - The Footloose Star Has an Unexpected Response

It's been 40 years since Kevin Bacon "kicked off his Sunday shoes" and became an instant pop culture icon thanks to his role in Footloose.Although the movie was set in the fictitious town of Bomont, the high school featured in the film was real. Now, it's the end of an era for "Bomont High" (aka Payson High School). The school in Payson, Utah is being relocated at the end of the year. And to mark the occasion, the students campaigned to bring home the bacon — Kevin Bacon, that is — for one last iconic prom...it worked.The #BacontoPayson Social Media CampaignFor months, students of Payson High have been "workin' hard" to convince Kevin Bacon to come to prom. They've pulled out all the stops, re-creating scenes from the movie and posting them on social media, learning the iconic Footloose dance, staging the Footloose Musical, and even planning an event on prom day to benefit Bacon’s SixDegrees.org foundation."The whole entire school year has just [revolved] around Footloose," Grade 10 student Lauren Krout said.Their efforts paid off in a big way.Kevin Bacon Will Be Attending Prom DayOn Friday, Bacon, with the help of the Today Show, appeared via video chat to a gym full of surprised students and faculty. "I'm gonna come. I gotta come ... Let's dance," he told the wildly cheering crowd."I've been so impressed with everything that's been going on there with this crazy idea to get me to come back," Bacon told the students during the assembly. "The movie and Payson High School was a big part of my life, and I've been amazed at the work that all of you have been putting into this with the musical and the flashmobs and the re-creations. It hasn't gone unnoticed by me." He went on to say that he's inspired by the kids' initiative to give back to their community and their willingness to support his charity, SixDegrees.org, which "centers on youth empowerment, justice and equality, and improving a sustainable living environment," according to its website. The organization is currently in the midst of its own Footloose campaign - honoring the 40th anniversary of the movie by creating and distributing 40,000 essential resource kits to communities across the U.S.While the Today Show later clarified that Bacon will be at the school during prom day for the SixDegrees event and not kicking up his heels at the actual dance, rest assured he still has those famous moves.Footloose Legacy Lives OnBacon's portrayal of Ren McCormack, the cool city boy who challenges the conservative norms of his new hometown, struck a chord with audiences in the '80s and continues to do so today. His electrifying performance during the film's iconic dance sequences, set to the catchy tunes of Kenny Loggins' Footloose and other memorable tracks, became etched in cinematic history.Thanks to Footloose, Kevin Bacon's name was as synonymous with the 80S as Trapper-Keepers and jelly sandals. And unlike a lot of teen heartthrobs, his career didn’t stall out there. He's been the leading man in numerous movies and television shows, winning a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. On top of that, he's a musician, dancer, philanthropist, podcaster, and a beloved social media content creator with a combined following of over 14 million followers. And also? Just a really nice guy.For the students of Payson High, Bacon's appearance on prom day is a dream come true. For them, Footloose isn't just a classic pop culture icon; it's a part of their school's identity. And while their school may be gone this time next year, its legacy will not be forgotten. More from Goalcast:Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s Secret to a Happy 34-Year Marriage Will Astound YouTeen’s Struggling Dad Works Hard to Make Ends Meet – So She Takes a 25-Mile Detour to Do This Before PromTeen With Cancer Invites Taylor Swift to His Prom but She Rejects It – Then She Does This

Math Teacher Who Commutes Four Hours Every Day Gets Life-Changing Surprise from Students
Motivation

Math Teacher Who Commutes Four Hours Every Day Gets Life-Changing Surprise from Students

"Just be grateful for what you already have and one day, good things will happen."- JULIO CASTRO, LA MATH TEACHERSometimes a little good can lead to a lot of great.Los Angeles math teacher Julio Castro received the surprise of his life when his students at YULA High School orchestrated an elaborate scheme to present him with a heartwarming gift. Castro, who lives in Santa Clarita California, uses both his scooter and a city bus for his four-hour daily commute to school. The dad of three wakes up at 4:30 am and often doesn’t get back home until 9:30 pm, after his young kids have already gone to sleep."It is roughly two hours [one way]. It depends … if I miss my bus, I wait another half hour or an hour," he told local news reporters.Castro travels seven miles from his apartment to the metro stop on a scooter before riding another hour and a half to Century City. From there, he travels another mile to YULA High School, a private school in Pico-Robertson.Living in an affordable apartment in another town and commuting to a job in Los Angeles is common among many low to middle-income workers. At high-tuition private schools, the teachers often live more modestly than the students they serve.RELATED: Students Notice Something Strange About Their Favorite Physics Teacher —His Confession Takes Them by SurpriseCastro said his work is “a pleasure" and that it is his family members that have to work incredibly hard.“I have family members who aren’t documented and who have three jobs, get paid less than I do, and they don’t complain,” Castro said. “I’m very grateful to have an amazing partner and amazing kids. So, this commute is literally nothing.”Despite his time-consuming trek each day, the teacher "still makes sure to devote all this time to students," said Joshua Gerendash -- who had noticed Castro looking at a buy and sell page for a car under $1,500."Mr. Castro skips his lunch break to help students and stays after school. He also helps students who aren't in his classes. He's really, really, really devoted to our futures."Castro began working at the YULA school in 2019 and teaches algebra, precalculus, statistics, and geometry.Students describe Castro as patient, resourceful, and someone who works hard to ensure his students are successful. Many students say they used to struggle in math and appreciate Castro’s kindness and willingness to ensure they can learn at their own pace."He was really the first teacher who showed me, in this way, that he cared about me," said Gerendash. "I guess I had a connection with him. I view him as more than just a teacher, I view him more as another person and I talk to him about non-school related stuff too. I look at him as a teacher and a friend."“I focus a lot on motivation,” Castro said. “Get them motivated to not need to ask for help. Because it’s not just knowing the answer, it’s about how you get to the answer. Math is a skill you learn with practice and being dedicated and if you give respect to it, it’ll be respectful to you. And don’t worry about the grade … it’ll show in time.”What a Group of Students Did to Surprise Their Deserving TeacherThe teacher’s dedication made such an impact on his students that they got together and put together a fundraising campaign over several months to help raise funds to buy a car for Castro. The students were able to raise a whopping $30,000 to put towards buying a car along with one year of insurance and gasoline.After deciding what type of vehicle they wanted to spend the funds on, the students planned an elaborate plan to present the new car.On the second day of the new school year, Castro was told that the school was holding a faculty appreciation assembly. Little did he know that the event was a ruse set up to honor him. The “assembly” began with video testimonials, confetti cannons, and a “tunnel” of Castro’s students with their arms out above their heads. And the finale? The extraordinary gift of a certified pre-owned Mazda 3 hatchback to ease the difficult commute of their beloved teacher.Castro said he knew his students were aware of his lengthy commute but admitted he'd never imagined being the recipient of such a heartwarming and unexpected deed."I always told my students that when life doesn't go your way, what do you do? Don't cry about it. Don't whine about it. Just be grateful for what you already have, and then move on," he says. "And one day some good things will happen." The young teacher added that one should never do things in hopes of being rewarded. "Don't do it because you're waiting for a prize. Do it because it comes from your heart."Lost Time Cannot Be FoundCastro plans to put all his newfound time to good use."Now that I have a car, I get to drop off my kids every morning. And then coming here with time to spare, I can use it on my lesson plans," he says. "Then on my way back, even if traffic is still bad, I’ll be able to make it for dinner."Born in Peru and raised in southeast Los Angeles County, Castro completed a degree in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. He was the first in his family to graduate from college.He was teaching math as an adjunct community college instructor but in search for a steady teaching role, he applied at YULA.“I’m not Jewish,” he told the school. “I don’t know anything about Judaism. But I know math. If you give me a chance, hopefully, the students will like the way I teach.”He added that: “After the first lecture, they started singing and dancing. So that was a good sign.”It Takes a Village...The fundraising effort was an example of it taking a village to make something happen.Change Reaction, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, offered the students a matching grant of up to $10,000. They also arranged for a videographer to document the students’ determination. Their efforts are being made into a video by Dude Be Nice, an organization that documents feel-good stories across the US.The students raised $3,000 through raffles and selling food at a basketball tournament and a movie night screening of “Ratatouille.”Emily Rahhal/PatchSarah Pachter, one of the boys’ parents, wrote an article about the effort for a Jewish website and ended up raising $13,000 in donations from around the world.Shimmi Jotkowitz, a YULA senior, handled car negotiations at Galpin Motors, which offered a $5,000 discount for the car the students decided upon.The older YULA students are hoping to set a precedent at the school and be an example for future generations of the importance of giving back to their teachers and mentors."This is kind of the beginning of that for our school. New kids are coming in every year and I think that hopefully, it will become a tradition to give back," Gerendash said.Rabbi Arye Sufrin, head of YULA, said the effort “is really about gratitude. This is about having our students appreciate the sacrifice that our teachers, and Mr. Castro in particular, make to ensure that [the students] maximize their potential and be the best version of themselves.”YULA “opened the doors for me and accepted me as a family member,” Castro said. “And you can’t buy that. I want to be here.”