University president hand-delivers scholarships to students at metro schools

University president hand delivers scholarships to students at metro schools

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Feb. 24 was unlike every other Monday for a handful of students who received scholarships to attend college – and for some, it meant a full ride.

Channel 2 anchor Wendy Corona met one of the scholars who still can’t believe it.

“This is a real blessing to me. I can't wait to go home and tell my mom,” Lovejoy High School senior Isaiah Payne said.

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Payne's hard work resulted in a presidential scholarship to attend Alabama State University in Montgomery -- and it was delivered personally by the university's president.

“Full ride, room, board, books, the whole nine yards,” said Dr. Quenton T. Ross Jr., president of Alabama State University.

ASU's bus tour is hitting 14 schools in seven cities.

With faculty and students, they're exposing high school juniors and seniors to the university and awarding scholarships along the way -- a benefit to students at Frederick Douglass High School in northwest Atlanta and Hampton's Lovejoy High School students who are committed to operation graduation.

“We're turning the page to where excellence is expected each and every day,” Lovejoy High School Principal Nelson Render said. “We started where we had 69% graduation rate. Now we have an 86% graduation just in three years.”

Payne thought he'd go into the military, but that plan changed Monday morning.

“Today a gift from God just came my way and I’m taking it. I'm gonna take my full ride,” he said.

“That is what education is all about. Giving the opportunity for students to go as far as they would like to make sure they have a positive impact on this world,” Ross said.

Payne was one of five students to get scholarships from Lovejoy High School.

He has all As in his high school career and one B his sophomore year.

His advice to others: focus on doing your best and being the best you can be.