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Ellen DeGeneres Is Sending 41 Red Hook High School Students to College

By Nicole Levy | February 23, 2017 4:55pm | Updated on February 24, 2017 9:30am
 Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
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Patrick McMullan

Here's something to dance about.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart have presented the graduating class of Red Hook's Summit Academy Charter School four-year scholarships to any SUNY school.

The $1.6 million donation will foot tuition bills for 41 seniors, NBC New York reported.

"I'm still in shock," one student said Thursday, a day after DeGeneres announced the gift on "The Ellen Show."

"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."

Summit Academy, which — according to school founder Natasha Campbell — is located in a neighborhood where only 4 percent of the adult population have college degrees, sent 93 percent of its previous graduating class to college.

"We’re working to get 100 percent of our scholars to college this year," Campbell said on "The Ellen Show."

She first reached out to DeGeneres in a letter describing her school's mission and successes. The TV host invited Campbell and Swift onto her show earlier month, stunning the educators with a $25,000 check from Walmart for their institution.

She asked them to return with their students, who shrieked, wept tears of joy and hugged one another and DeGeneres when she delivered news of their scholarships.

Watch their heartwarming reactions in the clip below: