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Mentoring Matters: Fmr. Heat Star Offers Scholarships To Miami Students

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rashawnna Avant, a sophomore at Miami Central Senior High easily called Thursday the best day of her life. Many of the 21 other sophomores gathered at a luncheon in the school's office would agree.

"I was like mommy I got it. She was like 'you got what?' I was like 'I got it. I got a scholarship.' She screamed. I could hear her on the phone. She was so excited. This was like the best day of my life," said Avant.

Most of the 21 selected students all raised their hands when asked if they were the first in their families to go to college. It's been a financial problem for every single one of them.

"I'm glad I get to have a scholarship to help me with tuition because its stuff like that my mom and dad can't help me with," said Jontesha James.

On Thursday, they got all the help they could only dream of from a very familiar face.

Former Miami Heat star Shane Battier teamed up with the Take Stock in Children Miami and are making a promise to 21 sophomores at Miami Central Senior High that if they complete a mentor program and maintain a certain GPA for the next two years, their college will be covered 100 percent.

"To see the look on these kids faces, they've been been told no so many times that for someone to say yes, that you have a chance…I was lucky enough to have basketball to be my ticket but a lot of these kids don't have that ticket, so to give them that chance, it means a lot to me," said Battier.

Academic Adviser Deborah Love says these students are the go-getters and take initiative and deserve this opportunity immensely.

"These are the types of students that are taking advanced placement, dual enrollment, honors classes, tests, taking classes to get ahead on Florida virtual school," said Love.

It's a gift that keeps on giving and it's a huge step in the right direction for these teens lives.

"So you wanna set the example for your younger siblings that hard work pays off. Don't give up, You can do this, so I feel that me being the first person to graduate in my family will set it for the generations to come, " said Avant.

If you want to find out more information about the two programs, you can visit the:  and

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