ENLARGE Constance McMillen and Ellen DeGeneres (Warner Bros. photo)
LOS ANGELES – Ellen DeGeneres has awarded a $30,000 college scholarship from Tonic.com to Constance McMillen, the lesbian student who was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to the prom.
The scholarship was presented during today’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” airing at 3 p.m. on Channel 39 in San Diego. A clip from the show can be found below.
DeGeneres told Constance that she admires her for standing up for her rights in challenging the decision by the Itawamba County (Miss.) school board to cancel the prom on April 2, instead of allowing same-sex couples to attend.
“I admire you so much,” DeGeneres she told Constance, the 18-year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss. “When I was your age I never would have had the strength to do what you are doing.”
DeGeneres offered to pay for a private prom, but Constance said she wanted the school district to present an all-inclusive prom. Constance and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued the school district in federal court and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday in Mississippi.
On the show, DeGeneres presented Constance with an jumbo-sized $30,000 check from Tonic.com, which she described as a “digital media company dedicated to promoting the good that happens each day around the world.” DeGeneres said Tonic.com also offered McMillen a summer internship in New York City, DeGeneres said.