CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - A 99-year old retired school teacher in Camilla is leaving a legacy of education. Ruby Sullivan established a scholarship at Valdosta State University. That makes her one of the "People Who Make A Difference."
In 1932, Ruby Sullivan graduated from Valdosta State. She spent years paying off her college debt and hopes to create an easier path for future educators. Ruby Sullivan retired after more than 60 years teaching school.
But her work's not done. "The best thing I could do would be a scholarship in his, in honor of him in memory of him," Ruby Sullivan said.
Mrs. Sullivan is helping students from rural Georgia get a college education through a scholarship she created in memory of her son. "He and I both were graduates of Valdosta State College, and I felt that I should do something in his memory."
The scholarship targets aspiring teacher in five poverty stricken counties. And they get an additional stipend if they return to teach in the home counties.
"And the hope is that these youngsters…now back teaching…will become role models for other young people who can look at them and emulate their success. And we keep the cycle going," said her friend, Paul Goodrich.
Goodrich was friends with John and helped set up the scholarship. He's kept in touch with her for the last thirty years…and had a special birthday gift for her during his latest visit.
Ruby received a letter and a T-shirt from the Boston Mayor. A gift from a friend of her late son's. Mrs. Sullivan's shaped countless lives…and even inspired some of her students to become teachers. And she has a little advice for aspiring teachers. "I just tell them to love the children…the children will love them, and it'll all work out."
The first recipient of the scholarship will graduate in a couple of weeks and hopes to get a teaching job at Mitchell County High School, where Ruby Sullivan taught all those years. Mrs. Sullivan is a remarkable woman who really does make a difference. She even took her teaching talents to students when they were at home sick. Ruby Sullivan's scholarship has the potential to help as many as 30 new teachers every year.
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