Cursory: Xavier Jones, an indigent eighth-grader student, who walked for two hours to attend his graduation ceremony, has been awarded a full-ride Presidential scholarship. The scholarship covers tuition, housing, books, and fees, saving Jones approximately $64,000 for his four-year degree.
Persistence pays off, as demonstrated by an eighth-grade student who embarked on a remarkable journey to attend his graduation ceremony.
His determination to attend the graduation against all odds ultimately led to him being awarded a full-ride scholarship to a historically Black university (HBCU).
Xavier Jones, a student from Yeatman Middle School, walked for two hours to reach Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) for his eighth-grade promotion ceremony.
Accompanied by his brother and friend, they traveled from West Florissant and Mimika in North St. Louis, Missouri, to the HBCU, covering a distance of approximately seven miles on foot along West Florissant Avenue.
His incredible feat and effort did not go unnoticed, because, Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, the president of HSSU, was informed about his inspiring journey and extended a presidential scholarship to him, granting him the opportunity to attend the university.
Considering that HSSU’s in-state tuition amounts to approximately $16,000 per year, excluding books, this scholarship represents a substantial financial relief, saving Jones approximately $64,000 throughout his four years of study.
The university shared the story on Facebook, stating,
“The Power of HSSU reaches from the university to the middle schools!
Yeatman Middle School student Xavier Jones walked two hours to attend his 8th-grade promotion ceremony.
“Jones was determined to attend his promotional ceremony, so he asked his brother and friend to walk with him from West Florissant and Mimika in North St. Louis City, all the way to Harris-Stowe State University, located in Midtown, where the promotion ceremony was being held.
“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!
“We are proud to welcome Xavier into Hornet Nation in the fall of 2028!“
Congratulations are also in order for Xavier Jones, as his dedication and ambition have rightfully earned him recognition and a pathway to success.
See reactions below:
Trina M. Dickerson: I am so proud of this young man, and his determination. But you know who else I am equally proud of? His brother and his friend showed up and walked with him, so he wouldn’t have to walk alone! Let’s throw some of the shine their way, too. There is so much grace, goodness and greatness to unpack here!
Rosalind Holmes Taylor: Awesome!!
Karin Upwood: That is the person you want in your school, or defending your Constitutional rights, or operating on you. Kudos, and well done HSSU for seeing it.
Kylee Marie: Something like a scholarship can literally be the determination between a kid succeeding or failing. The community and this school are absolutely setting this kid up to have a chance to build a beautiful life.
Tanaye White: I admire his ambition. Inspiring young student! But, how did he get home? He has mentors and educators in these new articles and tv segments… how can they ensure this CHILD is supported so that he doesn’t have to walk anywhere? Can we purchase him a bike? Scooter? The story is great but I want to actually help this baby, not just applaud something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Anitra Jynes Williams: This Is The VILLAGE Our Children NEED!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💞💞💞💞
Tanisha Jordan: He definitely deserves it‼️ I can already see he is going to be a dedicated hard working person.
Teenacherie Dillard: I took it upon myself to call his school. Mr. Seals 314- 415-0097 has arranged a trust for donations/ gifts for Xavier. He is an exceptional student despite all the hardships. I’m supporting/ sending a donation
Brianna Richardson: Thank you, Dr. Collins! It’s a great day to be a Hornet. May this child be supported and encouraged every step of the way, forward.
Lana Layne: This is amazing! You never know a person situation. It’s unfortunate he had to walk but, look at what God had in store. He just needs a willing vessel!
MsHoney Brown: Absolutely, this is what we do! Xavier, we thank you for your perseverance & tenacity and your covering as you made your way. That is my President and myHSSU! #whattheBUZZisabout #proudALUMNI #HBCUMadeu
Marty K. Casey: This just touched my heart!! Thank you HSSU FOR COVERING OUR BABIES! I would love to help him as well.
Gloria Santos Goode: This is an absolutely inspiring story and God Bless him! But some hard questions. If the JHS elected to have the 8th graduation at a site two hours away, wouldn’t they survey their students to make sure they all had a way to attend? Whose going to mentor this young man through HS? No judgement on his parents. There could be many reasons why they couldn’t support their son’s graduation. But there needs to be a safety net and a network of people supporting, encouraging, mentoring and protecting him. I’m more than willing to contribute to a fund to make sure it happens. 💯
Alida Poston: Just beautiful! Proud to be a Hornet mom! Well done Xavier and thank you to the Brother and Friend who walked with him. I would love to help make sure he graduates high school to get the chance to use this wonderful blessing!
Kristy Jackson:Saw this story …so proud to be a Hornet! Thank you Tonia Smith for your heart to serve scholars. We’re rooting for you Xavier! Congratulations!
Keisha Fields:This is what Love and Community looks like! Great job Xavier and thanks to HSSU for blessing him ❤️
Jade Harrell RareGem · I must talk to this dynamo!!!
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