A Texas dental assistant was showered with money for nearly two decades of commitment working at an orthodontics practice in Beaumont, TX.

According to “Good Morning America,” Sophia Teel was surprised with $1,000 for each year she’s worked at the business alongside orthodontists Mike Nelson and Ron Risinger.

Ahead of her 20th anniversary, she received a total of $20,000 for the work she’s done at the practice.

What started as a position as an intern at Risinger & Nelson Orthodontic Specialists soon became a full-time job that Teel says is a dream come true.

'The Perfect Position'

“This is the perfect position,” Teel said. “Kids are getting braces on to love their smile, to get more confidence. Usually at the end, they’re very happy.”

Dr. Nelson spoke about the role that Teel plays in making those smile dreams come true.

“Sophie is a great example of someone who just brings joy and happiness to the office every day,” he shared. “…The things that we’re able to do for our family and our team here, really it’s about having fun, and to us it’s a small reflection of the greatness that they give back to us and the patients here in the office.”

Hard Work Pays Off

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Risinger says that he and Teel have spent close to 40,000 hours together helping to revolutionize the smiles of local children.

“Sophie is not only an employee, but she’s a family friend and a very valuable person to have around you,” he expressed. 

What’s more, Teel says the whole interaction came to her as a complete surprise.

“I was thinking, ‘Good grief, I got a month left before 20 years. I know I’m not getting fired,’” Teel explained.

She added: “I am grateful – I was humbled that day – but I am grateful and it’s an awesome feeling to be appreciated in such a manner, and the whole world knows that you’re appreciated. That was awesome.”

Who doesn’t love seeing employees recognized (monetarily) for the hard work that they put in?