2015 ESL Jefferson Award Winner: Linda Bolan

March 30, 2018 01:26 PM

We're honoring another 2015 ESL Jefferson Award winner -- a woman who will no doubt inspire you. She's working to boost others and doing so after a personal tragedy.

Meet Linda Bolan. To tell Linda’s story, we must first introduce you to Williem, her grandson. She said, “He was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in a little under nine months.”

Linda, a retired teacher, mourned but quickly there after got to work. “Decided I wanted to give back in his name and have him remembered in a special way.”

She didn't have to look far. When Willem was sick, Linda and her family were helped by CURE Childhood Cancer, an organization that supports children with terminal illness. And she discovered what they needed – tutoring.

Tutoring children like Morgan DeMatteo. “When I was little I was in the hospital and couldn't go home.” Or go to school.

Linda launched a program called Boost, mostly made up of volunteer retired teachers. And without it, for most kids, “I honestly do believe that a lot of these children would be so discouraged by the time they got to high school they would quit because they are too ill to fight it anymore,” said, Holly Dutcher of CURE Childhood Cancer.

Since it launched in 2008, Boost has helped countless children across Upstate New York and it’s all thanks to one woman who turned tragedy into something beautiful.


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