Students Have A Special Message For The Women Who Helped Them Beat The Odds And Go To College

The school is located in a neighborhood where only 4 percent of community members have college degrees.

Natasha Campbell and Cheryl Lundy Swift are two women deserving of lots and lots of recognition. Not only are they the respective founder and principal at Brooklyn, New York's Summit Academy Charter School, but they are responsible for helping almost every kid in that school go to college. 

This is an especially amazing feat given the school is located in a neighborhood where only 4 percent of community members have college degrees, Campbell explained on The Ellen Show, where the women were recently featured.  Moreover, many of its students face struggles outside of school, from homelessness to hunger. 

However, through the school's incredible efforts, 93 percent of Summit Academy's seniors from last year are currently in college. This year, they're aiming for a 100 percent college acceptance rate

When asked how the school keeps its students positive, particularly given the circumstances in their own world and the world around them, Swift says they maintain a dialogue with their students.

"Number one, we don't hide what's happening. We want to educate them, we want to talk about what's happening. We want them to tell us how they feel …We want them to know their voice is important and it needs to be heard," she says. "We want to make certain that our school is like a family. So when you're here, you're safe."

After speaking with Campbell and Swift, DeGeneres surprised the leaders with a surprise video from their students, thanking them for their work. Ellen then presented the school with a special gift from Walmart. 

Check it out in full below:



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