The senior class at the Summit Academy in Brooklyn, New York, received an unforgettable gift from television host Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart. All 41 members of the graduating class at the charter school received full four-year college scholarships to any state university in New York.
The gift, donated by Walmart, is worth $1.6 million, DeGeneres told USA Today. Walmart already had given $25,000 to the school when school leaders Natasha Campbell and Cheryl Swift first appeared on the show a few weeks ago.
Last year, 93 percent of the school’s first graduating class continued on to college, Campbell and Swift said. The school is located in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, where only 4 percent of adults have attended college and more than 28 percent of children under 16 live in poverty, USA Today reported.
“I really think I could do something with my life,” a Summit senior who will be the first in her family to attend college told DeGeneres on the show. “I’m not going to be a disappointment. I’m going to be somebody.”
The students reiterated the educators’ mission: for 100 percent of this year’s graduating class to attend college. That dream was realized when DeGeneres announced the scholarship gifts.