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Summer of Yes: Watch Al Roker surprise New York City kids with trip to the Grand Canyon

Al Roker surprised outstanding 7th-graders from New York City with a trip to a national treasure that has long held a special place in his heart.
/ Source: TODAY

Growing up in New York City, Al Roker dreamed of one day experiencing the wide-open spaces and breathtaking scenery of the Grand Canyon.

It has become such a special place to the TODAY meteorologist that he even proposed to his wife there, and now he wants to share it with an outstanding trio of 7th-grade students.

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"I remember thinking that the only thing greater than this unbelievable sight is to be able to say that this is something that I've shared with somebody else,'' Al said on TODAY Thursday.

As part of TODAY's "Summer of Yes" series encouraging you to try something you've always wanted to do, Al paired with the Robin Hood Foundation and Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn to give three special students an unforgettable surprise.

Jahdice Dawkins, Jayson Rodriguez and Abdourhmani Diallo have become leaders among their peers, making the honor roll, excelling in sports and even helping teachers grade papers. Now they will be going on the trip of a lifetime.

Al tried to surprise them with a clue, but the precocious students erupted in celebration when they quickly figured out they would be going to the Grand Canyon. Jayson erupted in tears.

"I hope when they look at this, I hope they see the possibility that time can afford you, that they can still do something great, because they could see something great,'' Al said.

He wants to share the breathtaking sights of the Grand Canyon with three students who are only used to being surrounded by tall buildings and concrete.

"I think the toughest part of growing up in an urban area is that you tend to see the same thing over and over again,'' he said. "It's harder to get to someplace different than from where you're from."

At the end of June, Al will travel with the trio to revisit the place that occupied his dreams as a kid.

"It's a very special place,'' he said. "It's a beautiful place, and I've always wanted to go back. And my own kids wouldn't go with me, so I figured I'd find some other kids to go!"


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