The Power of Acknowledgement

Hello friends and family!

There are many people in the world who put their heart, soul and passion into making a difference for others.  

Teachers do this every day.  

Sometimes those on the receiving end of these difference-making contributions "get it" -- they see what a difference someone has made for them.  And they acknowledge it.

My teacher friends and I often talk about how the best "gifts" we've ever received have been the cards, emails, and letters from our former students when they've been out in the world for a while and, looking back, they see the impact we have made in their lives.

We also lament, however, that so many teens/young people take these contributions for granted.  They don't always appreciate what others have done for them, and if they do "get it", they don't realize how powerful it is for them to just say so.

When you acknowlege someone, it is a gift of love for the recipient.  When the recipient accepts your acknowledgement, it is a gift for you.

My project honors the incredible acknowlegement that I received from Mayank Bhandari, one of my former students. Through his ongoing appreciation for the difference I made in his life, he shows others what lengths committed teachers go to to make a difference for their students.  

Will you help me honor Mayank -- and accept his beautiful acknowlegement --  by contributing to the cost of attending his wedding in India?  

Here's the story....

Ten years ago, I met Mayank Bhandari, a young student in my Academy of Finance program and a member of our DECA chapter. From the start, I could tell that Mayank was one of those driven teens I just knew would achieve great things. In fact, in his junior year of high school, Mayank and his friend Taj created a business plan that won first place at International DECA Competition in LA. I even arranged for them to practice their presentation for my college friend Jeff, who was a big-shot marketer at Sony Pictures at the time (I scored major cool points for that! Thanks, Jeff!) Mayank asked me to write his college recommendation letters the next year which, I’d like to think, helped him get accepted to UCLA. In his senior year at UCLA, Mayank used me as a reference when he was applying for an internship with an investment banking firm, and I was an enthusiastic advocate on his behalf (they simply could NOT refuse to hire him!) He worked for Deutsche Bank for the past few years until he recently left to start his own company.

The Proposal:  One day last fall, Mayank called me from his office in Los Angeles to say he would be returning to Coral Springs for a brief visit and he wanted to enlist my help with a very special plan. He was ready to propose marriage to the woman of his dreams, his long-time girlfriend, Jasmin Beveja, who would soon graduate from USC Law School. And, he said that he was actually calling to ask my permission to use my high school classroom, full of students, as he had once been, as the setting for his proposal! I was so honored! Of all the places he could have chosen! Needless to say, the entire experience was delightful for me, for my students who got to witness the event (imagine the frenzy of smart phone photos!), and no doubt for Jasmin, too! (She said “Yes!”).

The Invitation:  Recently, I received a call from Mayank to invite me to his wedding in India! What an honor! And what an exciting possibility this invitation presents for me and Julian! Of course this would not be just any wedding trip! There would have to be visas and shots, flights to the other side of the world, deserts to cross and a castle to enter (Click here to see the castle where the wedding will take place!) And, of course, we would have to prepare to be guests at this traditional Indian wedding, which promises two entire days of splendor, ceremony and celebration, dazzling colors, dancing, food, friends and family!

The Opportunity:  Needless to say, this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and one that begs us to say YES! Yet on my salary as a teacher the cost is a bit daunting. Mayank and his bride have generously offered to provide our hotel accommodations at the wedding site, so we just need help with the airfare to/from and within India. Can you contribute? We promise to share our journey through Facebook, with photos and stories! Thank you!


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Laurie Levitan Acosta 
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