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Ridgefield woman awarded $100,000 scholarship on Today show

June 20, 2017

RIDGEFIELD—Samantha Watts’ college fund was eroded by her father’s cancer, but now she’s got a second chance at paying for her higher education.

Watts, a Ridgefield native and Ithica College student, appeared on the “Today” show Tuesday morning where she was introduced as one of the finalists eligible for a $100,000 tuition scholarship and asked to tell her story.

“I’m studying speech pathology and education studies, and I have to go to grad school in order to practice,” Watts told NBC’s Hoda Kotb. “I love my school and everything I do there. But my dad has actually just recovered from cancer—from esophageal cancer—and a lot of our money had to go toward that last year.

“So it would be life-changing for me.”

Then Kotb revealed that the show had chosen Watts, and that she would receive the scholarship.

The scholarship was presented by Will Ferrell as part of a promotion for his upcoming film, “The House.” He brought out an oversized check, about 15 feet long.

“You can’t actually cash this, okay?” Ferrell told Watts. “They’ll give you a real check.”

“What do you think, Honey?” Kotb asked Watts.

“I’m flabbergasted,” Watts said, as her Ridgefield parents joined her in the frame. “This is amazing.”