What do you get if you’re a college student with 70-hour work week, full class schedule and perseverance to succeed? If you’re Amber Thomas, you get help from Ellen DeGeneres and Kevin Hart.
In a segment that aired last week, DeGeneres and celebrity guest Kevin Hart started talking about wanting to help someone who is “really deserving.”
“Maybe somebody who works like 2-3 jobs to pay for their education,” DeGeneres pointed out.
“What if they’ve done thousands of hours of community service?” Hart played along.
“I think we have someone like that in our audience today,” DeGeneres said, as she invited a surprised and smiling Thomas onto the show. As she stumbled nervously through her story, the audience applauded the student’s dedication.
Thomas shared that she has been inspired by DeGeneres and hopes one day to help people through owning a business, just like the popular comedian. The student said she watched the talk show at the end of her long workday because, she told DeGeneres, “You just bring so much joy to my life.”
DeGeneres offered Thomas a backpack with a $250 gift card to the Gap, a $500 Best Buy gift card, a $1,000 American Express card, and a Macbook Air.
But the giving didn’t stop there.
After DeGeneres, Hart and Thomas played a round of tossing Altoids into their mouths — a game played occasionally on the show — Thomas burst into tears when DeGeneres announced that Shutterfly was giving her $25,000 to help pay off her student loans.