Dena Grushkin, Teacher/Philanthropist
You’ll want to meet and get to know Special Education teacher Dena Grushkin, who recently retired after 35 years in the classroom. However, a 2004 trip to Nigeria turned out to be a seminal moment in her life, opening her eyes to the reality of children living and attending school under the most challenging circumstances. She managed to raise $5,000 from friends, colleagues and strangers for books and other supplies. That visit prompted Dena to create the Nigerian School Project, a nonprofit educational organization that supports teachers and students. In 2009 her organization built a junior secondary school; 5 years later a senior secondary was completed, both on the river community of Tomaro Island. This June marked the first graduation class. This is a conversation you can’t afford to miss!