katy perry ellen

Screengrab via Ellen/YouTube

She surprised him on ‘Ellen.’

Get your tissues ready.

On Thursday’s Ellen, DeGeneres invited Pulse nightclub shooting survivor Tony Marrero onto the stage to talk about his recovery after being shot in the back four times. What he wasn’t expecting was a surprise from one of his biggest inspirations.

Apparently, during the pre-interview process, Marrero had mentioned that Katy Perry‘s song “Rise” had been a huge motivator during the low points of his recovery. So when the topic of her song came up during the actual show taping, DeGeneres was able to surprise him twice over: Not only was Perry in the studio to talk and say hi, she was so touched by his story that she wanted to help pay his tuition.

“I heard that you’re creative just like me,” Perry said. “And you have dreams, and you wanna go out there and do good and fulfill them. And I heard that you want to go to film school, so I personally wanna pay for your first year at film school.” 

And here’s a YouTube-exclusive extended version of the interview if you want more:

“I’m happy in my own little way to help you,” Perry said.

Christine Friar

Christine Friar

Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.