CLOVER, S.C. — In a surprise announcement, eighth-grade teacher Becca Bridges was recently named WCNC Charlotte's newest Hyundai Hometown Hero.
"After all we've been through, I'm just so humbled," Bridges said.
Surrounded by approximately 100 students, Charlotte-area Hyundai dealers awarded Bridges a 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe outside Oakridge Middle School in Clover, South Carolina.
"No one emulates the hometown hero more than your story," Gabe Faria of Keffer Hyundai said, handing Bridges the keys to her new vehicle.
Bridges' family has suffered through profound grief in recent years. She lost her 5-year-old daughter Corrie to a rare cancer in 2020 which was followed by her husband being diagnosed with cancer.
"I will say the kids were probably the best therapy for her," Oakridge Middle School principal Will Largen said. "She comes every single day. She sees those smiling faces they want to learn."
To add to the surprise of the new car, Hyundai also donated $10,000 to Levine Children's Hospital, in honor of Bridges' daughter, to help fund pediatric cancer research.
"My daughter would be so excited," Bridges said.
Overcome by emotion, Bridges said she never got into teaching for the accolades but instead because of her passion for helping young people.
"I teach because I love kids," Bridges shared. "Kids are my heart. They are my soul."
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