A generous stranger is about to make college much more affordable for eight high school students.
Dale Stoner, an 86-year-old resident of Victorville, California, has offered to pay the teens' complete college tuition.
"To me, it's a very natural thing to do," he told affiliate KCBS.
He surprised the first two, Ronaldo Lopez and Tonantcy Vargas, with the news at their school, University Prep, last month.
Vargas broke down as she spoke to the local station about Stoner's incredible gesture.
"I was so shocked... I just started crying," she said.
"This makes me feel very great inside," Lopez added.
Stoner, who has worked hard all his life, earned most of his money from real estate, KCBS reported. He is married with children, who are now all grown.
"To me it’s all very simple. The money is there," he said. "There is no need on my side, my kids, and so I said 'swell.'"
When he decided to spread his wealth with local students, he turned to the phone book for help. Stoner and his wife, Od, flicked through the pages to find a nearby high school.
University Prep Principal Valarie Hatcher told KCBS she was skeptical when she first received the call but when she met with the couple, she knew they were for real. So she turned to the counseling office and leadership team, who said Vargas and Lopez were the most deserving.
Lopez will attend Cal State Fullerton, while Vargas is going to Cal Poly Pomona.
Stoner will pay the college tuition for two students from the school each year. He will continue the kind gesture through 2019, paying for eight students in total.
Stoner said he wants nothing back from them apart from knowing that they will graduate — and that they might pay it forward one day in the future.
"I want him to see me graduate so that he knows that he didn't do this for nothing," Vargas said.