MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho did something unique Wednesday to "honor students whose paths have been both difficult but also inspirational."
Carvalho, on Facebook, announced that at the scheduled school board meeting, he would honor students by using his $10,000 prize he earned as national Superintendent of the Year—matched with $10,000 of his own money—to award ten students $2,000 in college scholarships.
Carvalho's Facebook post reads: "My father's wise words: no matter where you go, there you are. I believe he meant that inasmuch as one's origin does not limit one's destiny, we should never forget who we are or where we came from, our challenges and our triumphs. At today's board meeting, I will honor students whose paths have been both difficult but also inspirational. I have decided to use my $10,000 prize as national superintendent of the year, match it with $10,000 of my own compensation and award ten $2,000 college scholarships to remarkable students who overcame homelessness and graduated at the top of their classes. Oh yes, some community friends are throwing in laptops for everyone. This one is for you dad!"
The ten students who received the scholarship money are all part of Project Up-Start, a project for homeless students.
The project helps the students throughout the year to get supplies and tools that are needed.
Carvalho gave out the awards today. He said that the gesture was something close to his heart because when he was a teen there was a period of time when he was homeless.
Part of Project Up-Start includes a store in the Miami-Dade County School Administration Building. The store houses clothes, food, supplies and anything students might need. They are allowed to go to the store and shop at no cost.
The project has been in place for ten years but the store has only been around for two years.
CBS4 spoke with a student, a senior at Carol City, who asked not to be identified, said she is thankful that the program exists.
For more information on how to give clothes, food, or other supplies to Project Up-Start, visit the website by clicking here.
for more features.