EL PASO, Texas - One local teacher is $100,000 dollars richer thanks to comedian and talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, and it's all because of his involvement in the El Paso community.
Ricky Ramirez was born and raised in northeast El Paso. Growing up, Ramirez didnt think he would be able to attend college so he set his sights on the Military.
Ramirez would spend 4-years in the Marines Corp. and was deployed to Iraq. When Ramirez returned to El Paso he decided that he wanted to encourage other young kids in his neighborhood that they are capable of going to college despite their circumstances.
Ramirez made sure to make his presence known around the community by doing backpack drives that gave 600 students backpacks at the start of the school year.
Ramirez also taught for EPISD as an instructor for the schools AVID program. According to the school's website, AVID is a program designed for middle and high school students in the middle who have the potential to succeed in a rigorous academic program if given both opportunity and support.
Recently EPISD was forced to cut the AVID program due to budget cuts and Ramirez found himself out of a job.
Ramirez's luck would all change after Ellen Degeneres's people got word of his involvement in the El Paso community.
Throughout the month of May Ellen partnered up with Wal-Mart to give $1,000,000 to those who are doing good in the world.
Ramirez was invited to attend a taping of the Ellen Show in Los Angeles, California. During the taping, he got a shot at playing a game for a chance to win $100,000 as a part of her "Million Dollar May" contest.
The game, "Holy Roller," required ramirez to attempt to roll a ball through a small hole across the room. Ramirez earned each ball by answering random questions about Ellen.
The game was not as easy as it looked, and Ellen's team decided to help out Ramirez. He ended up winning the game and going home with $100,000.
Ramirez plans on investing the money and using it to help continue making a positive impact in the community.