A St. Louis, MO, student’s determination has paid off for him in more ways than one.
In order to cross the stage and receive his 8th Grade certificate for his graduation, Xavier Jones walked two hours to Harris-Stowe State University, where the ceremony was hosted, according to the university’s Facebook post.
Along with his brother and friend, the Yeatman Middle School student traveled from West Florissant and Mimika in North St. Louis City to the university in midtown.
Following the discovery of how Jones made it to the ceremony, Harris-Stowe State University President Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith awarded him a full-ride scholarship to attend the HBCU when he graduates from high school.
“HSSU President Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith was so moved by his dedication and perseverance, she offered him a Presidential scholarship, which covers four years of tuition, housing, books, and fees!” the Facebook post details.
"From a determined walk to an inspiring journey! Yeatman Middle School student Xavier Jones walked 2 hours to his promotion ceremony. Moved by his dedication, HSSU President Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith offered him a Presidential scholarship. #Perseverance #EducationMatters #HSSU pic.twitter.com/VjifjKQLyn
— Harris-Stowe Univ (@HarrisStowe) May 25, 2023
In 2022, Collins made history after she was not only the first Black woman to be appointed as president of HSSU but the first woman in its 166-year history, according to the university’s website.
Graduation season has been one for the books this go-around in regard to dedication. As previously shared by AfroTech, Khalil Watson, who was shot and paralyzed seven years ago, went on to cross his graduation stage at Reynolds Community College with the help of a robotic exoskeleton. Fulfilling this dream comes after Watson was unable to attend his high school graduation in person due to his hospitalization at the time.
The 25-year-old received his associate’s degree in pre-social work. Now, he is set to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work.
“I have a passion for helping others, and after going through the things that I have experienced, I feel like I’ll be easy to connect with and understand individuals who have similar or worse situations,” Watson said.