Daytime’s “queen of comedy” just raised the level of surprise to new heights.
Ellen, in conjunction with Walmart, gifted 41 graduating students from Red Hook’s Summit Academy Charter School with a check for $1.6 million during her show on Thursday, NBC New Yorkreports.
The donation covers four-year scholarships for students to attend any State University of New York institution.
“Our mission is for them to go to college, excel in college and graduate from college. Now we don’t have any obstacles stopping them,” Summit Academy principal Cheryl Lundy Swift said. “This means the sky is the limit.”
Ellen did a follow-up interview on Thursday with Swift and Summit Academy founder Natasha Campbell, under the guise that she was checking in with them and their students.
During the pair’s previous visit Ellen and Walmart donated $25,000 to the school, but nothing could prepare them for what happened on Thursday.
According to Campbell, Summit Academy is located in a Brooklyn neighborhood where only 4 percent of adult residents have college degrees. Last year the school sent 93 percent of its students to college.
Most of the students have overcome tremendous odds in their personal lives but still place education at the forefront of their goals and aspirations.
“A lot of us are really fortunate and we take for granted how easy our life is,” Ellen said. “These kids have overcome all kinds of things and they go to school everyday and work hard every single day and all they want to do is go to college and they deserve it.”
Once Ellen revealed the gift, students erupted into cheers and tears, overwhelmed with joy. This is a life changing moment for these students and we wish them all the best!