COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - When a college scholarship falls in a student's lap, it's a huge honor, but what if that same scholarship is given to an eleven year old?
Ten Muscogee County students have the grades, and they have the motivation, but they might not have the funds to get them to college. That is until the Columbus Scholars handed it to them.
"It is a huge honor for these students. They receive a mentor in the 5th grade and then they are offered a financial scholarship when they reach college their mentors are there to help them through college and make those college decisions," said Downtown Elementary School teacher Mary Jaymes.
Ten 5th grade students in Muscogee County were given $7,500 towards their college education.
Recipient Tyrie Hewell told News Leader 9, "I got an invitation to Columbus Scholars and a scholarship to college."
Malachi Caines also received the honor. He added, "I'll have help for getting into college because college is so important with the economy the way it is."
Some may think they are too young to understand what this money means, but the kids tell us they know how important this honor is for their future.
"It makes me excited and happy because I really want to go to college," said Jasmine Simpson, 5th grader at Downtown Elementary School.
Malachi added, "People in my family have gone to college, but never had a chance to finish it. I'm going to be able to finish with this scholarship and stuff."
And Tyrie told News Leader 9, "It makes me very excited and proud because I'll have a mentor that will guide me through college."
Their teachers say they were already outstanding students, but the money and mentor help motivate them more in the classroom. Mrs. Jaymes added, "These students that are picked are already highly qualified students, students who believe education is important to them so we're hoping that will continue. It does build self-esteem and gives the family something to look forward to that they can afford college."
The scholarship and mentor are provided to the kids by the Columbus Scholars and Big Brothers Big Sisters.