Rochester International Academy students surprise veteran for his birthday

[anvplayer video=”5095460″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Students at Rochester International Academy surprised John Salzer for his 96th birthday on Friday.

Salzer goes by "Jack," but many students call him "Papa." He’s been volunteering with refugee students at the Jefferson Campus for more than 30 years.

Salzer served in world war two and was an engineer by trade, spending 40 years at Kodak.

In the late ’80s, he began helping refugees settle in Rochester for the Catholic Family Center, using his math skills to mentor students.

"I come here every day because I enjoy being with the students and the teachers and I actually learn from them as well as they learn from me," Salzer said.

Salzer’s efforts in the community made him a finalist for the ESL Jefferson Awards in 2019.