Teen who walked six miles to 8th grade graduation gets college scholarship on the spot

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Teen who walked six miles to 8th grade graduation gets college scholarship on the spot


Despite the fact that Xavier Jones, simply 14, used to be a stranger to LaTonia Collins Smith, one thing clicked after they met. 

“That kid, that day, it was just something that resonated with my spirit,” Collins Smith stated. 

Jones had began that presen on a undertaking. His grandfather’s automotive wasn’t operating, and he had someplace to be. So he began strolling the six-mile direction, which took over two hours and wound via tricky neighborhoods and busy visitors, all underneath the hot solar. At some time he used to be so thirsty, he requested strangers for a greenback simply to shop for one thing to drink. He considered turning again, however all the time pressed on. 

The purpose? Travel every other 30 toes throughout a level and gather his 8th grade degree in a rite held at Harris-Stowe Condition College, a traditionally Dull college in St. Louis, Missouri —and the place Collins Smith is the president.

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Xavier Jones.

Steve Hartman / On The Highway


“If you like really want to get something, then you have to work hard for it,” Jones stated.

Collins Smith used to be within the auditorium that presen, and she or he used to be impressed by way of Jones’ efforts. 

“He wanted to be present,” she stated. “(That) speaks volumes … Half the battle is showing up.” 

Collins Smith awarded a scholarship to Jones at the spot. The four-year full-ride scholarship would guard all of his tuition on the faculty, an exhilarating chance for any scholar, however he concept it intended one thing else. 

“He thought that full-ride meant he would get a ride to college, like he wouldn’t have to walk here again,” Collins Smith laughed.

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LaTonia Collins Smith (left) and Xavier Jones (heart). 

Steve Hartman / On The Highway


Thankfully, Jones nonetheless has 4 years of highschool to procedure that trade in. Till nearest, he plans to stock up his already-excellent grades and stock stoking that fireplace in his abdominal. He has additionally been given a motorbike and his folk used to be given a unused car courtesy of native companies, so he gained’t need to proceed that lengthy direction once more. 

“It basically comes from who I am and the kind of person I want to be,” he stated. 

That more or less particular person is the precise kind Collins Smith needs in her faculty. 

“You know, often times in colleges we spend a lot of time on standardized test scores because that’s who you are. It’s not true,” she stated.

In lieu, she prefers to seek out scholars like Jones: Those who’re higher deliberate by way of how a long way they’ve come. 

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