WELLTON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Wellton Elementary School is raising funds for their first-grade teacher, Gianne Mandin, so that she can extend her visa and continue teaching at the school.
Mandin grew up in the Philippines and dreamed of one day working and living in the United States.
In 2019, she was granted a J-1 visa and accepted an offer to teach at Wellton Elementary School.
"I prayed to God that whatever school will pick me first, that's where I will go. No matter how far it is from the city or no matter what it looks like, I will be there," said Mandin.
Shortly after moving to Wellton, Mandin was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and later received a life-saving kidney transplant.
Tim Mayclin, the Superintendent of Wellton Elementary, has been working with the school district and community members to help raise money to sponsor Mandin and cover the expenses needed to extend her visa.
"You have an opportunity to keep a really good teacher who has very creative ideas and has had a big impact on the district. We just needed to get a little creative with how we could fund it," said Mayclin.
Mandin’s colleague created a GoFundMe where you can help donate.
The school is also hosting a homemade pozole dinner as a fundraiser for Mandin at the Wellton school cafeteria on December 13 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.
The cost is $10 per ticket and proceeds will go toward Mandin.