COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Albany State University is recognizing academic excellence from seniors who are preparing to graduate from Muscogee and Harris County high schools.
Weeks before taking the stage and receiving their high school diploma, four students from Muscogee and Harris County high schools get to celebrate another achievement.
They will be receiving scholarships after being accepted into a historic black university.
Tira Peaches, a future Albany State Ram, says "It took a lot of hard work and dedication, and a lot of just talking to other people, getting recommendations. To me, it's an honor, because not everyone gets this opportunity."
"It feels good because you put in all the hard work in high school. You miss out on some many things, staying dedicated, focusing on your work, so now that we're actually getting recognized for it, it just feels good," says Tasia Collier who will also be attending ASU.
The Muscogee Alumni Chapter of Albany State University hand picked all four students, out of a large pool of candidates they say had to meet strict criteria, aside from GPA, SAT scores, and an acceptance letter to receive the scholarship.
"They have to write an essay. They have to have a face-to-face interview with us and then we determine who gets the scholarships," says Cynthia Bobb, Board Member, ASU Alumni Chapter.
The alumni chapter, over 70-years-old, has granted over five hundred thousand dollars in scholarships to students in the Chattahoochee Valley, and they want to continue having an impact on education.
Crystalinn Mabry, Board Member, ASU Alumni says, "I think we're all responsible for upholding the needs of our society, and what better way is it than to give back to your community? My motto is 'Dream big, fly far, give back and achieve greatness' and that's what we're doing here today."
Those four students say they want to pursue careers in nursing, forensic accounting, and other endeavors.
The alumni chapter says it will continue working to ensure students have access to a quality education after high school.