Zack Ruediger lost his mother in 2012 and just days before his high school graduation, his father suddenly died.
“It’s made me grow up a lot faster then I think anyone should ever have to,” said Ruediger.
Zach’s classmates wanted to do something special for Zach and his family. As each student received their diploma, they gave some money to their principal.
Seeing his fellow students handing over cash, and not knowing it was for him, Zach donated some money too.
It’s a tradition at his high school to give money to charity at graduation, but it was a surprise that the class of 2014 decided to give it to Zach.
“I kind of felt gratitude towards everybody but embarrassed about what I did,” said Ruediger.
All 68 students raised more than $800 and another $500 came from Zack’s employer, according to the deputy superintendent for the school district.
Read more: Fox2