Monday, two local high school seniors received a little help for tuition. Two Gulfport seniors received a surprise celebration with a big payoff in the name of college education. Kimberly Trosclair, the Director of Get2College Center, says, “We are on the road, awarding our senior scholarships. We will be surprising students, the winners, in each school.” Surprised they were. The parents of the students burst into the classrooms, holding $1000 checks for their seniors.
Catherine Bruni, one of the scholarship winners, says, “Oh my goodness! We were supposed to be doing something for our school calendar. Well that’s what I thought. Then all of a sudden, everyone started running in and throwing candy. It was crazy, but it was really fun.” Nicholas Myers, another scholarship winner, says, "I feel blessed, I really do." Myers is in remission after years of battling leukemia. He and his family are grateful for the financial boost for his pediatric oncology dreams.
Jennifer Myers, Nicholas’ mother, says, "It’s just a great, great almost end to a great four years for nick.” The seniors at Gulfport High are two of 50 in the state to be selected for this year's competition, after writing an essay on paying it forward. Bruni also says, "I wrote about learning from my experience in Hurricane Katrina and paying it forward with the victims of Hurricane Sandy." Bruni was involved with food and clothing drives for the people in the northeast after the 2013 hurricane. Myers has been hosting basket drives for local hospitals after he received support during his battle with leukemia. Myers also says, "During Christmas, I was in the hospital and they would come and give me Christmas presents and stuff. It just brought so much joy to me, even though the presents were for little kids, it just brought joy that people cared that much."
With 1,200 applications received statewide, paying it forward has certainly paid off for these students. Myers closes, "Thank you for supporting me and really helping me follow my dreams.” There were 50 scholarship winners this year in Mississippi. Fourteen of those seniors were from on the Coast.