8th Grader Treks 2 Hours To Attend His Graduation, Lands A Full-Ride to an HBCU

One step at a time, an eighth grader’s long walk to graduation landed him a full-ride scholarship to a historically Black university (HBCU).

Middle school student Xavier Jones walked two hours to attend his eighth-grade promotion ceremony at Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU).

A good support system can take a person far in life. Luckily, Jones did not have to take the two-hour trek alone. According to a Facebook post by HSSU, the Yeatman Middle School student was accompanied by his brother and friend. Together, the three journeyed from West Florissant and Mimika in North St. Louis, Missouri, to the HBCU. A quick Google Maps search reveals walking from West Florissant to HSSU via West Florissant Avenue is around a seven-mile trip by foot.

The middle schooler’s effort to attend the ceremony did not go unnoticed. HSSU president, Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, heard about Jones’ journey and offered him a presidential scholarship to attend the university.

tweet from the university said, “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.”

The Facebook post added, “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!”

HSSU’s in-state tuition is about $16,000 yearly, not including books. This means the scholarship awarded to Jones would save him around $64,000 for a four-year degree.

HSSU might be a great financial move for other students in Missouri. According to the university’s website, HSSU was “recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 public schools in the country where in-state students paid the least for the 2016-2017 school year.” Congratulations are in order for this young man’s dedication and ambition to succeed.