Imagine an 8-year old who doesnâ€™t tear into his or her Christmas presents.
Edison State HOPE Scholars learned an important lesson while delivering gifts to Mrs. Maria Cardenasâ€™ 3rd grade class at Orange River Elementary School.
â€œSome of the students donâ€™t want to open their gifts out of fear it would be the only gift theyâ€™d have to open Christmas morning,â€ said Orange River Principal, Ann Bell.
Mrs. Cardenas understands her studentsâ€™ emotions; she was once a Hope Scholar at Edison State. She grew up without much and was the first in her family to graduate from college.
â€œIf you peel the tape very gently we can rewrap the gifts,â€ Cardenas and Bell told the 3rd graders.
Cardenas and Bell offered to help students re-wrap them so they could enjoy them with the Edison State HOPE Scholars and also open them with their families on Christmas Day.
Inside, each Hope Scholar had chose a personal gift for their â€˜Little Brotherâ€ or Little Sisterâ€ and a new pair of shoes. The Edison State students raised the money themselves.
Since Project HOPE was launched in 1993, over 1,200 students have received two-year tuition and book scholarships. The program's social and educational support network allows participants the opportunity to experience success, complete their college educations and become productive citizens. HOPE scholars travel to Florida universities, and give back to the community through volunteer activities and mentoring.
The project's college readiness program offers the promise of a college education for at-risk eighth grade school students who maintain their grades and participate in seminars and other motivational activities each year until high school graduation.