Ellen’s Surprise for Aspiring Teen Reporter Brings Him to Tears


Hi, Angel. Hi. Oh my– I’m like freezing. Wow, this is amazing. First of all, it’s
really nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Your name is Angel. You’re 18 years old. Yes. And your life is– we’ve had a lot of
people on the show and I’ve heard a lot of
stories, but your life is incredible that
you’re sitting here that you actually made it. This is incredible. So at nine years
old, you were kind of left to raise your
younger siblings. How many– how old were they? Well, I have three younger
siblings, Kevia, Justin, and Joshua. Kevia was six, Joshua was seven,
and Justin was five years old. And you were nine years old? Yes I was. OK, so explain. Basically, you were on your own
since you were six years old. Sadly, I was put in a
very tough situation. Growing up, I didn’t
really have it too easy because my dad and my mom were
constantly fighting a lot. It was just very toxic
in the household, so my mom actually
walked out of my life when I was six years old. And so I was left
to live with my dad. And we was moving from shelter
to shelter, always living in– we’ve lived in
Harlem, in the Bronx, in Queens, all of the
boroughs, actually. And we never had a stable
household to live in. Right. And then your dad wasn’t really
able to take care of you. So then you were responsible
for getting them to school, getting yourself to school. I don’t know how you did that. So you’re going to
elementary school, you’re getting these kids ready
to make them go to school. And then the school found out
that you were on your own, and what happened? So my siblings and I would have
to learn how to take the bus and train all by ourselves
early in the morning, without a parent. I had to make sure I didn’t lose
anyone because, straight up, it’s on me. So it was definitely
very, very overwhelming. And then my school
also noticed that there was lack in our attendance. So because of that, they
paid a visit to the shelter that we were living in in Harlem
and noticed that our living conditions weren’t really good. My dad was– he’s diabetic. Well, he was
diabetic at the time. And so he was always weak. He wasn’t able to care
for us and give us the attention that
we need, so they noticed that it was outrageous. So they take you
out of the shelter. Yes. And they split you up. And they put you
and your brother with one foster family, and your
other siblings with another. Yes. And so you’re
graduating fifth grade, you were with– what’s
his name, Manuel? Manuel, yes. Manuel. So you’re with your brother,
you’re graduating fifth grade, and what happens? My brother Joshua, which
is the second oldest, we was put into the
foster home with Manuel– which is my dad now, which I
can get into that, of course. And so for my fifth
grade graduation, my dad was actually– the
whole time I didn’t know any of this– but he was working
with the agency, with the landlord of the
building, because when we were first placed, we lived
in a two bedroom apartment. But he was working
with the landlord, got a four bedroom
apartment just to create room to try
to see if he could get my siblings in his care. So for my fifth
grade graduation, we went out to dinner, and so my
brother and I went to the park. And he actually went
to pick up my younger sister and my brother. And so when he comes to
pick us up from the park, he’s like get in the car. Don’t look to the
back of the car, because at the back of the
car is your second gift, your graduation gift. So I’m like, OK, I’m young. I’m like, all
right, I won’t look. And so my sister, she kind
of ruined the surprise without knowing. So she’s like, Angel, Angel. And I’m like, what
are you doing here? She’s like, we
live with you now. I’m like, no way. And so that’s exactly how he
was able to put us all together. And to this day, we
are all still together. What a great guy he is. Yes. [CHEERS, APPLAUSE] What do you want to
do after college? After college? Well I definitely want to
move my family into a better position, I want to be able
to get them a big house and have us all
together, if possible. I just want them to feel
much safer, much secure, they know that everything’s
going to be great. And I also want to, career-wise,
I would like to be a reporter, whether that’s being
on TV, being on camera like I am now,
which is just crazy. [LAUGHTER] In general, just try to
work in the entertainment aspect or a reporter. All right, well, whatever
you do in this business, if you’re a reporter, you have
to learn how to read prompters. So look into that camera right
there and read that prompter. “This is Angel Perez, and right
now I’m a guest on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ Ellen said she likes
surprises and wanted me to know that her friend
at Green Dot Bank want to help me save for the
future, so they’re going to”– sorry, my contacts are
blurry– “give me this. Zenor.” Zenor. Zenor? Sorry. Zenor, run it. [CHEERS, APPLAUSE] Oh, my God! Oh. [CRYING] [CHEERS, APPLAUSE] We’ll be right back. We’re back with Angel Perez,
whose story is amazing. And Manuel is quite a guy, that
he not only took you two in, but then took the whole–
all of your siblings. What does he mean to you? Wow, words cannot describe
how much he means to me. He means a lot to me. He’s definitely an inspiration. And to be very, very honest, I
feel like if it wasn’t for him, I would definitely not be
in this seat right now. I would not be in
this seat, would not be in a position I am. And because of him, I was able
to get a second chance at life, because coming from– oh,
my God, this is very tough– but coming from
where I come from, we was in such a
toxic situation, and he was able to take
us out of that situation together and keep us together. [SOBBING QUIETLY] And the fact that I know
that I owe it all to him, he means the world to me. He is my inspiration. Yeah, what a great guy he is. But really, the fact
that you made it even that long
before Manuel even is saving you is incredible. That shows the strength
that is inside of you. And I know your siblings
are really, really important to you. And it’s important that they go
to college, so Green Dot wants to help even more. They want to make sure that all
of your siblings go to college. They are giving each of
them $20,000 as well. [CHEERS, APPLAUSE] [SOBBING QUIETLY] So they’re taken care of. We’ll be right back.

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