Ellen DeGeneres presented a $30,000 scholarship on behalf of Tonic.com Friday to a teenage lesbian whose high school prom was canceled when she asked to attend with a girl.
Constance McMillen, 18, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about her experience and at the end of the segment DeGeneres, who is a lesbian, presented her with the check to be used toward her college education.
“I admire you so much,” DeGeneres told the high school senior from Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, MS.
“When I was your age I never would have had the strength to do what you are doing.”
Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the school after the school district decided to cancel this year’s prom rather than allow McMillen attend the dance with her girlfriend. McMillen also had asked to wear a tuxedo to the prom, but was told by the school that girls must wear gowns.
DeGeneres said she had offered to pay for a private prom for McMillen and her classmates, but McMillen said she wanted the school district to hold the dance.
The scholarship came from funds raised on Tonic.com and through an anonymous donor, as well as the website’s founder.
Tonic also offered McMillen an internship, but no word yet whether McMillen has accepted the offer.
Here’s a clip from Friday’s Ellen broadcast: