Oleg’s Not-So-Surprising Act of Kindness

November 4, 2021

Last summer, Oleg proudly posed for senior photos outside of the UMFS Charterhouse School in Edinburg. He’d reached the end of his high school career and was taking a well-deserved moment in the spotlight. Cloaked in a bright red graduation gown, Oleg sat and smiled while Art Teacher Jane Stopha snapped his picture.

Oleg could have chosen for that moment to be one of his final interactions with Charterhouse School. After all, once students graduate and go on to do great things, they naturally lose touch with their high school. So when Oleg’s name came across Principal Kimberli Collett’s desk just a few months later, she took note.

After graduation, Oleg had gone online and made a donation to UMFS and Charterhouse School in honor of the 2021 graduating class. Attached to his donation was a note that reads, “I am very grateful to the staff for their support, effective teaching, and for preparing me to enter adulthood.”

Kim was amazed but not too surprised. “I think this reflects on Oleg as a person in that he is thoughtful and caring,” she said. “It also reflects on his mother in the way that she modeled that value for him. “I was pleased that Oleg felt connected in way that compelled him to make a donation.”

Oleg’s mother was a generous donor while Oleg was a student, and Kim said the gifts she gave benefited the whole school. “Strong values have been imparted on Oleg by his mother,” Kim added.

Values are also central to Charterhouse School, and its curriculum focuses, in part, on generosity. For example, Oleg was a student of George Merryman, who often leads his class in “give back” projects. “At Christmas, the class made small painted biplane ornaments to give every student and staff,” Kim said. “They also built a picnic table that sits outside the school for any and all to use.”

Kim said by involving students in generosity projects now, staff are promoting positivity and encouraging students to practice kindness when they leave Charterhouse School. And Oleg is a vibrant example of that sentiment.

“It definitely warmed my heart to know that one of our graduates is reflecting the values that we try to impart to our students at Charterhouse School,” Kim said.

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Oleg’s gift will go a long way in supporting the students at Charterhouse School in Edinburg. You, too, can make a difference for students at Charterhouse School in both Edinburg and Richmond. Make a donation today at UMFS.org/donate