DENVER – A California math tutor is making good on a promise to one of his students.
Despite living in Fresno, California, Jon Gonzalez has been a life-long Broncos fan. He was set to graduate high school in May 2014, but was on the verge of failing if he did not pass his geometry class. Gonzalez’s family hired a math tutor for him to help raise his grades. They did not realize it would change his life.
“I told him look, I’ll make you a deal,” explains math tutor Chang Vang. “I’ll take you to Denver to watch a game if you pass with an 86 percent or better.”
“Honestly at first I didn’t think he was serious,” Gonzalez says.
Vang drew up a contract to show his student he was serious.
“I was like, alright, I’ve got to give him something to fire him up. I know the Broncos could do it,” Vang says.
The incentive worked better than either expected. Gonzalez passed his class with an 88.2 percent. He earned his high school diploma and the trip of a lifetime. He chose Thursday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
“He wanted me to pass. He wanted me to get this grade and come here. It means a lot,” Gonzalez says.
The trip cost Vang more than he was paid for his tutoring services. He says it is worth every penny to know he changed someone’s life.
“Most of my students are motivated. They have college goals. Jon really isn’t that way,” Vang explains. “I wanted him to at least be successful and pass high school.”
Gonzalez says he still does not like math, but it does come much easier to him now. It is something else he learned from Vang, though, that will stick with him the most.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you have a goal to meet. When you put your mind to it, you can do anything,” he says.
Gonzalez is now enrolled in college courses near his home in California. He says he would not have had the drive or opportunity to do it without Vang’s help.