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Ellen Donates $1.6 M to Students

In high school, students are being prepared to take the next step in their lives. For many students, this step is college. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, “Seven in ten seniors, who graduate from public and nonprofit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower.” In the last decade or so, the average debt with which students graduate rose at more than twice the rate of inflation.

For many years, Ellen DeGeneres has graced our homes and lives with her comedic genius and loving personality, and she has always stayed true to herself. Whenever she can, she helps others. From donating to charities to donating money to schools and teachers for their hard work, she never forgets that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

This year, Ellen made a $1.6 m donation, courtesy of Walmart, to support 41 graduating seniors from Summit Academy Charter School. The four-year tuition-free scholarships work towards any state university in New York, and will certainly help these students stay out of debt, focus on learning, and making the most of their college experience.

Before awarding the scholarships, Ellen said, “A lot of us are really fortunate and we take for granted how easy our life is, to go to the school we want to and to do the easiest things. And these kids have overcome all kinds of things and they go to school every single day, and they work hard every single day, and all they want to do is go to college, and they deserve that.”

According to the founder of Summit Academy Charter School, Natasha Campbell, “The school bridges the gap between aspirations and realities by preparing sixth through twelfth grade scholars to gain acceptance to, excel in, and graduate from college by using three pillars of success: mastery of core subjects, character building, and community leadership.”

Campbell continued, saying, “By engaging scholars with an academically rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum and supporting them in a community focused on high academic achievement and strong character building, Summit Academy will prepare our young people to participate meaningfully in the greater economy and expand their choices and opportunities.”

Before Ellen revealed the big surprise, three students sat down with her to explain the impact this school has had on their lives.

One student told Ellen that she will be the first person in her family who will graduate high school and attend college. She said, “I’m not going to be a disappointment. I’m going to be somebody.”

Another classmate talked about their experience at the school and how it has changed their life as they know it. He said, “I consider each and every one of these people my family members. We are a family. College is the goal that I’ve had my entire life and now it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen and I thank Summit for that.”

DeGeneres is known for her charitable habits, and it warms our hearts even more to see her help these children determined to succeed in postsecondary education.

Featured Image by ronpaulrevolt2008 by Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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