Sale of late South Bay teacher's sneaker collection to fund San Jose State University scholarship

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Thursday, April 18, 2024
Sale of late South Bay teacher's sneakers to fund SJSU scholarship
The sale of late South Bay teacher, Virginia Wright's, sneaker collection will fund a new San Jose State University scholarship.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A beloved South Bay teacher known for her fierce dedication to students is still giving back to her community, even after her unexpected death.

Virginia Wright's sister, Josie Sanchez, said Wright mentored and inspired students for more than 35 years.

"She taught in the same school district where, not just she went to school, but it was all of us, all her siblings," Sanchez said.

Sanchez said Wright's teaching inspired both students and other teachers even after her official retirement.

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"She was still subbing," Sanchez said. "That was her passion, just to be around the kids."

Tragically, Wright died last year in a car accident.

Her family, still coping with their loss, wanted to find a way for her legacy to continue.

Over the years, Wright started collecting Jordans.

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That collection ended up leading to connection.

"Kids would question the shoes and say 'Hey, Mrs. Wright, what shoes are you wearing today?' and she just loved that," Sanchez said.

The difference she was able to make through her tireless work and shoe collection caught the attention of major shoe retailer Shoe Palace.

That's how ABC7 first met her in 2019, the day she got Air Jordan 1s made in her honor at an assembly at Santee Elementary in San Jose.

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San Jose teacher Virginia Wright was presented with Air Jordan 1s made just for her, the SP Gina, will be available at Shoe Palace starting June 1.

It was a day she was blown away by.

"They liked that I was a teacher. They liked the way I was giving back to the community," Wright said at the time. "So, instead of going to an athlete or a celebrity, they chose to go with a teacher."

Sanchez had more than 200 pairs of her sister's shoes.

Together she and Shoe Palace are now working to auction off those sneakers for a San Jose State scholarship, Wright's Alma Mater.

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"I just feel in my heart, it was the right thing to do with her collection," Sanchez said.

Shoe Palace helped facilitate the restoration of the shoes and auction.

The goal is to raise $50,000, so far, the auction has raised $20,000, but there are still more than 60 pairs of shoes left to auction.

"She's still helping kids and she's helping kids succeed," Sanchez said, "I know, that's what she would be really proud of."

For information on the auction click here and to donate cash directly to the scholarship fund, click here.

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