Inner-city students receive college scholarships, motivate classmates

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — A group of South Florida students are learning firsthand how hard work pays off. 

South Florida students at William H. Turner Technical Arts High School are not only earning the grade in the classroom, they are also earning scholarships to start a bright future. 

Three seniors at the technical school were recognized for an achievement that has not been seen in the school’s 24-year history. 

All three inner-city students came from the same advanced medical sciences class at the school and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Julius Wade is ready to attend Harvard University with $300,000 to pay for his college tuition. "I put in a lot of hard work over the past four years, along with the support of my school, and I’m really proud of the work that I’ve done to make sure I go to a place like Harvard to get the tools to give back to my community," Wade said. 

Jonathan Cola, meanwhile, will attend the University of Miami come August. "I did a summer program there. This summer internship that was called the High School Careers and Medicine, where we did all sorts of science courses over the summer and where we even worked on a cadaver, which was really, really cool," he said. "Being on the campus made me realize that I love Miami, and I wouldn’t want to leave."

Cola will have his tuition paid for all the way through his doctorate degree.

The third senior, Melissa Eustache, is going to Johns Hopkins University with more than $240,000 in scholarship money. "That takes a lot of pressure off my parents, and they’re much more excited for me to go because now the pressure of finances is not something they have to worry about," Eustache said. 

As these inner-city students prepare for the next step in their educational career, they hope their path will be an inspiration for other students who are eager to go to college. They had a message they wanted to leave behind. "Work hard but don’t forget to keep yourself grounded," Eustache said, "appreciate the people around you who are supporting you and make sure that you’re not taking this journey alone because it’s something that requires a lot of people to support you, to help you out."

All three students were also Silver Knight nominees.

Their academic signing day was Tuesday, where they officially committed to the college of their choice.