For years Angela Salatti dedicated her life to educating the youth as an elementary school teacher in Teaneck, and now even after her death in 2008, Salatti's mission continues.
On behalf of her estate the Bergen County Education Association (BCEA) donated $21,000 in scholarship funding to Bergen Community College on Thursday afternoon. The scholarship money will be set aside for BCC students who intend to pursue a career in education.
"This is a gift from an educator, someone who shares our heart and wanted to see students succeed," BCC President B. Kaye Walter said. "This is an extremely special gift. Each and every day we have students who want to be teachers, who have been in other careers, but all their life wanted to touch kids lives so that they can have a chance to succeed. This will give some of those students a chance at that."
After retiring from the Teaneck school system, Salatti who resided in Bergenfield, volunteered by tutoring for the Bergenfield Library’s Literacy Volunteers of America, serving as a member of the Women’s Club of Dumont, and donating time St. John’s Parish and the Bergenfield Chapter of AARP.
According to BCEA President Joseph Coppola, the union has never received funding to be used toward a scholarship in at least his 30 years. He stated that he chose Bergen Community as the recipient due to its dedication toward its diverse student population, from students straight out of high school to adults seeking a career change.
"This college is one-stop shopping that has whatever you need,"Coppola said. "But when you really get down to it, it helps people go down another avenue as they are unemployed. This college adapted long before the economy tanked and had the foresight to see what was going on. They have prepared society for what society did not even know was going to happen. I commend you for it."
With no surviving family members, Salatti's estate was divided between 33 beneficiaries who included the BCEA following her death. The Association received the donation just before Christmas last year and ultimately decided the funding should benefit the college.
"This gift demonstrates once again that educators of all levels value the education system and continue to give back even after death," BCC Foundation member Joseph Basralian said. "Bergen Community College is the cornerstone of education to give so many people an advantage in life. The ability to grant scholarships every year increases."
The Bergen Community College Foundation will decide at a later date how many students will benefit from the scholarship funding.