Xavier Jones, a 14-year-old boy, embarked on a challenging journey to attend his eighth-grade graduation ceremony at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri. His grandfather's car was not working, so he decided to walk the six-mile route under the scorching sun, enduring tough neighborhoods and busy traffic along the way. Thirsty and tired, he even asked strangers for a dollar to buy something to drink. LaTonia Collins Smith, the president of the university, was present at the ceremony and deeply moved by Jones' determination. Impressed by his dedication, Collins Smith awarded him a four-year full-ride scholarship on the spot. Jones, misunderstanding the term "full-ride," initially believed it meant he wouldn't have to walk to college again, sparking laughter from Collins Smith.
Photo Credit: Sangga Rima Roman Selia