Sonya Romero thought she was just going to sit in the audience at a recent taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Instead, Ellen called her out, completely by surprise, and gave her the national spotlight she deserves. Romero is a kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who will do anything to help her students. Every morning, she asks them if they need anything to eat or need any clothes to wear, and she takes money out of her own pocket to care for them. “I feel like, as educators, we’re sort of the first responders,” she said.
When two of her students were deeply in need, she stepped up in a way that nobody could have expected. Romero, who has a son of her own, took in two students as foster children after Child Protective Services intervened. Originally they were supposed to just stay with her for a few days, but she’s been their foster mom for six months now. She’s such a good person that after someone gave her a $100 donation, she turned around and gave it to someone she saw crying on a bench.
To showcase the amazing person Romero is, DeGeneres and her team secretly filmed a video at her school as a tribute. “When we say we love her, she says she loves us back,” one adorable kindergartener said. Plus, Target gave Romero a $10,000 donation and $10,000 in a separate check for the school.
By the end of the segment, Romero and her son were in tears, as was DeGeneres. And you will be too, if you can make it through the whole thing without running for Kleenex. If you’d like to support Romero and her school, Lew Wallace Elementary has listed where to donate on their website.
This Article Was First Published On “cosmopolitan.com”