Local Teacher Raises Funds To Attend Student’s Wedding

Teacher Laurie Acosta with with former student Mayank Bhandari and his fiance Jasmin Beveja

Teacher Laurie Acosta with with former student Mayank Bhandari and his fiance Jasmin Baveja

By: Sharon Aron Baron

One dedicated local teacher will be traveling to India to attend the wedding of a former student, and has set up a GoFundMe Page to help pay for the trip.

Over ten years ago, JP Taravella teacher Laurie Acosta taught Mayank Bhandari where she is the Academy of Finance Lead Teacher and one of three DECA advisors.

“From the start, I could tell that Mayank was one of those driven teens I just knew would achieve great things.”In fact, in his junior year of high school, Mayank and his friend Taj created a business plan that won first place at International DECA Competition in LA.”

Bhandari asked Acosta to write his college recommendation letters the next year to get accepted to UCLA. In his senior year at UCLA, he used her as a reference when he was applying for an internship with an investment banking firm where he worked. He worked for Deutsche Bank for the past few years, until he recently left to start his own company.

One day last fall, Bhandari called Acosta from his office in Los Angeles to say he would be returning to Coral Springs for a brief visit, and he wanted to enlist her help with a very special plan. He was ready to propose marriage to the woman of his dreams, his long-time girlfriend, Jasmin Baveja, who would soon graduate from USC Law School. He said that he was actually calling to ask Acosta’s permission to use her high school classroom, full of students, as he had once been, as the setting for his proposal.

Popping the question at JP Taravella

Popping the question at JP Taravella

That day Bhandari and Baveja attended Acosta’s financial operations class, where they talked about their careers, until Bhandari’s brother, a former student at Taravella, who was sitting in the back of the class yelled out, “So Mayank, what’s important in life?” That’s when he got down on his knee and proposed to everyone’s surprise.

Acosta was holding the ring.

The proposal was a success with Jasmin saying yes, to the delight of the students on hand who were able to witness the event.

Fast forward almost a year later. Acosta received an invitation to the wedding to India.

“Needless to say, this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and one that begs us to say yes. Yet on my salary as a teacher the cost is a bit daunting.”

Fortunately, both Bhandari and Baveja have offered to pay for hotel accommodations at the wedding site, however, they still need visas, shots and flights which she said is very difficult on her salary. Acosta who lives in Coral Springs with her husband Julian convinced him to go. He said the only way they could do it if they received help.

“I’m a teacher…I’m a marketing teacher, so this GoFundMe is a great site for doing this,” she said.

The wedding will be held in August in Suryagarh, Jaisalmer. Acosta was concerned that the dates fell over teacher planning week, fortunately, JP Taravella Principal Shawn Cerra has reassured that the trip is more important. She is working hard to get as much done as possible before she leaves.

So far in one month Acosta has raised $1,500 towards her $5,000 goal.

“The people that have so far provided much of the financial support so far has been my former students. I’m fortunate that they are helping now. It’s so moving.”

Acosta said she will be sharing her journey through India on Facebook with photos and stories. If you’d like to donate to this teacher’s trip to see her student get married. Please go to www.gofundme.com/9bb5uo

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.


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  • John Hillestad

    Yet on my salary as a teacher the cost is a bit daunting – SERIOUSLY ?!? maybe publix cashiers should have fund raising web sites too … and they have to work YEAR round – NO whole summers off….

    • Vik

      Ok, so she’s not as poor as (slightly above) minimum wage workers, but her financial situation could still preclude her from vacationing abroad.. Hey, if she called the Suze Orman Show, she would probably get a REQUEST DENIED. The lady is just being realistic, and she has every right to set up a fundraiser, you don’t have to donate anything if you don’t wish to do so. Stop being so negative.

    • Mary

      John, you have no idea what you are talking about. Laurie is a friend. She is a model, inspirational teacher who works incredible hours — before, after school and yes, in the summer — far beyond what is required. She could and has made more money in corporate leadership, but choses to be a teacher out of her dedication to helping others and making a difference in the lives of others — a foreign concept in our narcissistic culture. Exactly the kind of teacher we should all want for our kids.

      • John Hillestad

        she ” could have ” made more money corporate leadership ? Well hells bells you can pretty much say that about anybody…. thats the standard answer with ‘ public servants ‘ too … lets face it government jobs a cush with plenty of perks BUT yes you will not get super rich doing them… along with MANY other jobs but somehow its only the holy trinity “cops,fireman,teachers ” that we all hear about whining about money… I’m quite fatigued hearing them whine.

        • Guest

          What a sad angry man. I feel sorry for you, John.

          • John Hillestad

            ok ” guest “

  • paulette

    Please support Miss Coral Springs 2015 reach her financial goal for $2500 towards her evening wear as she vies for the Title Miss Florida USA 2015, on July 11, 2014. She has reached out to many local business and to no avail.Thank you so much for your support.


    • hya stewart

      Please all locals Residents & City Officials support Miss Coral Springs 2015 reac her financial goal toward her dream to win the Title Miss Florida USA 2015, on July 11,2014. MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A YOUNG WOAMAN’S LIFE!

      DONATE ON http://www.gofundme.com/8qgljo