Halle Berry's emotional surprise for 5th grade teacher she calls her 'second mom'

·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry teamed up with the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, on Celebrity IOU on Monday to surprise the woman whom she calls her "second mother" with a renovation of her 1920s home.

Yvonne Sims was Berry's fifth grade teacher, who became a mentor to her and, ultimately, one of the most important people in her life.

"My mom was a single mom and so she worked a lot," explained Berry. "So my sister and I were very much latchkey kids. She sort of took me in under her wing. I have a white mother and she, being a Black woman, taught me about my culture."

Berry shared that she went to a predominantly white school, so having Sims, who was one of only two Black teachers at the time, was a gift that changed her life.

"I think she saw the need in me. She saw that I needed to be mentored and she stepped in," said Berry.

Sims shared, "Halle was eager to learn more about herself, being of mixed heritage."

"She would take me to art museums, teach me about Black history, about my heritage, because it wasn't really taught in schools. She just picked me up, you know, and quickly became more than a mentor, almost like another mother," shared Berry.

"I watched her evolve from being a fifth-grade little girl to being the woman that she is now, and a lot that has contributed to that are the hard knocks," said Sims. "It wasn't easy for the Black kids. It definitely wasn't easy for the mixed-race kids." Since Berry has always seen Sims as a gift, she was thrilled to be able to give her a big gift in return and even began to cry as she told Sims, "There's nobody who's been more selfless and helped so many people, not just me, hundreds of kids, and nobody deserves this more."

And the emotions didn't stop there as, later in the show, following the reveal of Sims's new stunning home, the two began to share even more tears.

Celebrity IOU airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on HGTV.

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