Solorio Academy High School principal surprised in Pilsen

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A CPS educator got a surprise Sunday as the community recognized him for his commitment to Chicago students.

Eric Solorio Academy High School Principal Victor Iturralde was greeted outside his home when teens with Buddy's Helpers presenting him a $500 check.

"I think it's gonna just energize the work that I do and you know that... I can, it does make a difference," Iturralde said.

Iturralde said he's already focused on giving his minority students a bright future.

"I'm just trying to do my best so that our students have a chance," he added.

RELATED: Northbrook Junior High teacher honored for going above, beyond for students during pandemic

Now, he's being saluted for that work with this money, which he'll be able to donate to a charity of his choosing.

Buddy's Helpers and the Pepsico Showdown also promised Iturralde two tickets to a future White Sox game.

"He knows my story and I'm just one of many Solorians," said one of Iturralde's students, Lizbeth Barajas.

Barajas was among those surprising her principal. She said she is grateful for his efforts, even as he recovers from recent surgery.

"He doesn't share his struggles, he just shares his successes and that's really empowering," she said.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.