MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This year, Whitehaven High School students went above and beyond when it comes to college scholarships.
We dropped by the school to spend time with one of their million dollar scholars.
You might remember the late famous rapper, Notorious B.I.G.’s song, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.”
At Whitehaven High School, it’s mo’ money, mo’ options.
Whitehaven High School has a trophy room. It's a keepsake of accomplishments year after year.
Whose trophy you won’t see in the room is senior Xzorion Harris.
It's not because he didn’t win any. Instead, it's because his trophy is of a different kind.
Harris received more than $8 million in scholarships.
“For most of our students, it’s the expectation, so it’s not surprising. When you go as far as Xzorion has gone, it’s mind-blowing,” said Akita Banger Gray, Senior English teacher and Dual Enrollment Specialist.
Harris’ scholarship offers came in from more than 100 schools.
“It would surprise me because I didn’t expect a Black kid from Memphis to get stuff like that,” said Harris. “I think it says a lot about me. I’m proud of myself. It shows that I’m a dedicated hardworking person.”
So, what is Harris’ million-dollar decision?
“I chose Tuskegee University because it’s an HBCU and they have a good engineering program,” said Harris.
He is one of 46 Whitehaven seniors to receive more than $1 million in scholarships.
“Two words that come to mind: resilience and motivated. These are some resilient little babies. Given everything that has gone on, they’ve come in here. They know the expectation. It wasn’t hard for them to settle back in and get going and doing what is expected of them and creating those opportunities for them and their families,” said Lisa Fletcher, Professional School Counselor.
“No stone goes unturned, so they have so many opportunities right there at their fingertips. They don’t have to settle for anything. Their destiny is right there at the palm of their hands, so they get to choose. They have options,” said Banger Gray.
Options birth opportunities that each student will carry on in their next phase of life.
“Do not quit. Whatever your dreams are, whatever your goal may be, do not quit. Don’t give up on yourselves. We didn’t count you out, so don’t you count yourself out,” said Fletcher.
“Do what you have to do now so that you can do what you want to do later,” said Banger Gray.
Here's some advice from the million-dollar scholar himself.
“Being dedicated, you have to not only do it, but do it at the best you can do and be the best that you can be. Put in your full effort into whatever you’re doing,” said Harris.
Harris received the 5th highest amount of scholarships in the school’s history and the largest of any male student.
So far this year, Whitehaven High School seniors received at least $50 million in scholarships and counting.