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Jefferson Award Winner Makes Higher Education A Reality In Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS 5) - LaTosha Hunter was the first in her family to finish college. She graduated in Accounting from Alcorn State University in Mississippi and gives a lot of credit to this week's Jefferson Award winner: Oral Lee Brown

Brown never forgot how education has changed her life. As a child she picked cotton in Mississippi. She went to night school, and got her degree-- and eventually built her own real estate agency in Oakland. But seeing the tough life kids were facing in her community gave her an idea.

In 1987 Oral Lee made a promise to the first graders at Brookfield elementary school in Oakland. She said if they worked hard, she'd see them through college, paying their tuition.

Of That first class, 19 of the 23 students graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Oral Lee didn't stop there--

On the wall of her office in Oakland, she proudly shows off photos--of her babies-- as she calls them-- six more classes of students headed to college

Oral Lee has helped over 100 students have a better future...and she has dreams of starting a boarding school.

For more information on helping Oral Lee Brown send students to college, visit her foundation's website.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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