Ten years ago, 84 third-grade students at Michael Anderson School in Avondale, Arizona, were surprised with the gift of opportunity.
In 2005, a Hungarian-born chemist named Ferenc E. Rosztoczy launched The Rosztoczy Foundation as a way to help Hungarian students get scholarships to study in the U.S. In 2012, the foundation branched out with its College Promise program, surprising the students at Michael Anderson School with full-ride college scholarships once they graduated from high school.
Erika Valadez was one of those students, and told The Washington Post that knowing she had a scholarship and wouldn't graduate with debt "was so motivating. It made everything more real. It changed the course of my life." She graduated high school as valedictorian, and just finished her freshman year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, where she is studying criminal justice and forensic science.
Out of Valadez's class, 34 students are now enrolled in college. The Rosztoczy Foundation viewed this as a success, and decided to repeat their generosity with a new generation. During an assembly last month, 63 third-graders at Bernard Black Elementary School in Phoenix learned they would receive full scholarships to college. "There wasn't a dry eye in the house," Roosevelt School District Superintendent Quintin Boyce told the Post. "It was a really precious moment."