LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Students graduating from Jefferson County Public Schools got the surprise of a lifetime.

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS surprises high school seniors with college scholarships

  • The checks range from $5,600 to $22,000

  • The money was donated through the JCPS Employee Sponsored Student Scholarship Fund

  • So far, more than $179,000 dollars has been awarded in the past three years

One of the biggest hardships for graduating seniors is figuring out how they will pay off their education, but four lucky members of the class of 2021 got a jump start.

Through its employee sponsored student scholarship program, JCPS chose seniors who overcame obstacles throughout the school year.

JCPS Superintendent Dr Marty Pollio and other staff members surprised four students at their homes including Waggener High School Senior Jordan Haskins. He wants to pursue education at Lindsey Wilson College and come back to his alma mater to teach math and coach wrestling. 

"I’ve had a lot of teachers that have been more of a father figure to me than my actual father so its helped me a lot to pick where I want to be at," Haskins said.

The senior was choked up and nearly brought to tears after receiving the largest scholarship totaling $22,000.

He and his mother say the money will help lift an already heavy financial family burden.

"I have a single mom and everything and she can’t pay my full tuition by itself so this has really helped out a lot," Haskins said.

"Very thankful for this cause this is just a weight lifted and I just know he’s going to graduate, he is going to come back and he is going to be a teacher and he is going to coach. He’s just going to achieve all of his goals and we're really excited for him," said Haksins' mom.                                                 

Education leaders said each amount awarded was based on the students individual needs and achievement, while helping elevate any financial burdens.

"Being able to take kids in need and make sure they have four years covered is special but its even more special during this time right now the challenges that kids have gone through," JCPS representatives said.

Senior Yacine Diop never expected to receive such a big check. "It honestly means the world to me. I’m just like shaking a little," Diop said.

The soon-to-be graduate hopes to become a CEO of a company and plans to double major in computer science and business economics at the University of Louisville.

"Cant wait to utilize this money to just make my family proud, make myself proud and just make my community proud by achieving my dreams," Diop said.

Two other students including Cheyla Tabares Cuesta from Central High School received a scholarship totaling $5,600. LeAnn Rivera from Marion C. Moore High School was gifted $14,400.

This is the third year for the JCPS employee sponsored scholarships. So far, more than $179,000 dollars has been awarded.