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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Nursing students at Graceland University in Independence are ready to dedicate their careers to helping others.

That’s why they say it’s so important to recognize someone who goes out of his way to help them.

The nursing students nominated Gary Huffman for FOX4’s Pay It Forward.

Huffman has worked at the university for 15 years, keeping the campus clean. The nursing students says he does it all with a big smile.

“He works so hard. He’s always on his feet, always cleaning something, always making sure the school looks nice for us students, and he always has a smile on his face,” Chynna VanRoss, nursing student, said.

Not only does Huffman work hard, the students say he always checks in on them during stressful times.

“Nursing school is very stressful and just seeing his smile every day just makes our day 10 times better,” VanRoss said. “Always making sure we’re OK, making sure we don’t need anything or if we do need anything always being there for us.”

Huffman was sitting in on a pathophysiology class when we surprised him with the $400 gift card.

The students who love Huffman quickly pointed him out to FOX4’s Kathy Quinn.

“Thank you for all that you do for the school and for us and we appreciate all your hard work and we just want to say thank you we appreciate you. You always have a good attitude and a smile on your face. We just really want to thank you and tell you we appreciate you,” VanRoss said.

The generosity of the nursing students seemed to shock Huffman.

“I never expected nothing like this,” Gary said, “I’m so thankful!”