For 25 years, retiring newscaster Gloria Campos has profiled foster children who were waiting to be adopted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the “Wednesday’s Child” television segment at WFAA-TV. Campos estimates that, over the years, she has featured more than 350 children, 75 percent of whom were adopted thanks to her reporting. But of all those children, there was one young boy whose story she would not soon forget — that of Ke’onte Cook.
In 2007, Campos featured spunky, well-spoken, 8-year-old Ke’onte on her program. He was adopted shortly after the segment, but unfortunately it didn’t work out and he went back into the foster care system, where he bounced from home to home. After learning about his unfortunate situation, Campos featured Ke’onte again in August 2009. This time, Carol and Scott Cook were watching, and they knew that Ke’onte was meant to be their son.
MORE: Foster Kids Need One Thing to Succeed in School. A Former Teacher’s Goal Is to Give It to Every Single One
“I’d like to say thank you for putting him on the second time,” Carol Cook told WFAA in a tribute video made for Campos in advance of her retirement last week. “Because not only did you bring us the child that God wanted us to have — and we wouldn’t have seen him otherwise — but you’ve also helped him touch millions through him being able to talk about his story.”
Since being adopted by the Cooks, Ke’onte’s life has turned around. Two years ago, he spoke before Congress about his four years in the foster care system, telling them that he was over-medicated with mind-altering drugs. Now, the 14-year-old is off medication completely. He’s an avid runner and hiker, and hopes to study broadcasting, like his hero, Gloria Campos.
ALSO: Meet the “Million-Dollar Scholar” Who Wants to Help Other Disadvantaged Kids Pay for College
Last week, Ke’onte surprised Campos with an emotional on-air reunion, walking on the set and giving her a big hug as a thank you for helping him find his loving parents. The resulting video, which you can watch below, is an absolute tearjerker. (Better grab the tissues now!) “I want to say to her thank you so much, because you’ve made my life worthwhile and you’ve helped me become the person that I am right now,” Ke’onte said in the video tribute. “I probably would have been worse off had you not helped me out.” Kudos to you, Gloria Campos!
DON’T MISS: When These Kids Couldn’t Afford a Hot Lunch, This Hero Stepped Up