Many teenagers and young adults work hard over the summer months as they try to put money away to pay for college.
The Liberty Bank and Channel 3 Surprise Squad was tipped off about one of those independent students who could use a little acknowledgment.
Devon Rooks was described by her aunt as very strong and resilient.
"It has been a rough year," said Joy Oliano, Rooks' aunt. "So, I'm very excited you chose her."
Rooks lost her mother very suddenly last March.
Oliano said she's been doing her best to rise from some difficult circumstances since that tragedy. She's been putting herself through school.
"She has a 4.0 at Southern, she works pretty much full-time at Big Y, she Nannies in the morning," Oliano said. "She makes it happen on her own and she doesn't ask for handout and she doesn't ask for help."
Oliano recently found out that Rooks' financial aid had been drastically cut, which created some new hurdles for the 22-year-old.
"She really just needs a little something to brighten up her day and her mood," Oliano said.
The Liberty Bank Surprise Squad had just the thing.
It showed up to drop in on Rooks at work in Meriden.
The squad told Rooks that it was shooting video for a story about gift cards.
Then the surprise kicked in. When Rooks told the squad to "have a good day," it told her to literally do the same.
Rooks was in shock and even more surprised to see her aunt standing there.
Some shoppers were even taken aback by the scene.
"I think that it's so awesome," said Ray Smith of Middletown. "People do what they need to do to get ahead and it's good to be recognized and see some support from PEOPLE who really care."
Aside from the gift cards we 'returned' to Rooks, the other half of the surprise included gas cards, which she can put towards her commute to school.
"Thank you very much," Rooks said. "This was awesome. It definitely made my day."
To read more Liberty Bank and Channel 3 Surprise Squad stories, or to nominate a potential recipient, click here.
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