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First generation college students receive scholarship to FAU

Posted: 7:18 PM, Aug 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-16 23:18:36Z

Hundreds of students moved into Florida Atlantic University, Thursday. For one group of students, move-in day was life-changing.

There was a time when they thought this day wouldn't come.

"My parents can not afford to send me to college. So this scholarship is a big thing for me," Reginaldo Eli said.

The groups of students come from different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common.

"First-generation college students, low-income students," Corey King said.

They're all apart of Florida Atlantic University's Kelly Strul Emerging Scholarship program. It gives 20 students the opportunity to go to college for four years and come out debt free. These students sacrificed a lot to get to this day. 

"I came to the United States when I was 13-years-old and I moved in with just my dad and it was two other siblings but shortly after that my siblings moved away and my day passed away," Williamson Emilcar said.

"As a 9-year-old little boy I had to work at a barbershop I was cleaning the place to help put food on the table worked there for four to five years," Eli said.

Now he and the rest of the scholarship recipients will be able to work towards their degree. Building friendships along the way.

"I wanted to join something where I can go talk to the teens around me and the community to let them know they're not alone," Emilcar said.

The students in the program will also receive academic help to make sure they stay in good standing. Many of them say without this program they probably wouldn't have been able to attend a four-year university.