An inspiring story tonight in these tough times.... about how five students in the southland who are getting the gift of education... Thanks to you, our viewers, Ana Garcia reported.
They all have stories of hardship: Sandra grew up with an alcoholic parent. Kaylon was forced to leave his home. Amanda has watched her relatives go in and out of gangs and prison.
But they all have managed to go beyond their obstacles... enroll in college.... and work towards a better life. And now, thanks to the help of NBC4 viewers like you ... they will get one step closer to their dreams.
Amanda Orozco says the award means a lot to her, "It's just a reminder that i am doing good, that I can do it and it just pushes me more."
The kids came to the station this week to receive their award as "NBC4 Beating the Odds Scholars," and met people in the newsroom, behind and in front of the camera.
Viewers who saw our profiles of struggling students sent donations to the Beating the Odds fund at the California Community Foundation. One of our viewers, even left money to the fund in her will.
The result -- every year from here on out.... five outstanding community college students will receive scholarships from KNBC. They will also receive college counseling from the Fulfillment Fund. Ana Garcia and NBC4 President and General station manager Craig Robinson presented the check to the first class.
"Funding young people's dreams is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of our job," John Kobara from the California Community Foundation said.
"It's that extra amount of money but I think it also says something to them about people believe in them," Carolyn Lee from the Fulfillment Fund said.
And that, according to scholarship recipient Sandra Alfaro, may be the best christmas gift of all. "It's nice to have have someone back there, pushing you, telling you you can do it, because you can. and I'm proof of that because I have a child, so it's hard working full-time,going to school full-time, and haaving a 3 year old. but it's do-able.
Sandra will be graduating in March and plans to become a psychologist... The others are pursuing degrees in medicine, sociology, and all want to motivate other students to keep going.