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Oakland high school grads receive $5 million in college scholarships

Oakland students receive $5 million in college scholarships
Oakland students receive $5 million in college scholarships 02:18

OAKLAND -- From Oakland, a city that has seen more than its share of crime and violence, comes a story of hope: More than 1,100 students received a gift that will change the course of their lives.

It's expected to be Oakland's largest scholarship giveaway, thanks to community sponsors.

A group of students gathered at the Kaiser Convention Center for a special ceremony Thursday. They are leaders and role models in their community.

You won't find a more positive and inspirational young man than 17-year-old Royal Hubbard.

"That comes from my mom, my aunt, my family, my dad," Hubbard said. "Everyone put their time and work to put community in me. What I want to do is bring the community in me and bring it right out back into the world."

Hubbard is a senior at Oakland Tech High School and is one of the recipients of the Oakland Promise scholarship. He's one of the students who are receiving a share of nearly $5 million to help them go to college. For Hubbard, it's a dream come true to be the first in his family to get a college education.

"My dad didn't have much, my mom didn't have much, my family didn't have much so I learned from their mistakes and I'm going to take their mistakes and go drive from it," he said.

The students not only receive financial support but resources such as mentors to guide them in the next chapter of their lives.

Oakland Promise was created in 2016 as way to reinvest in city youth.

"Our students in Oakland are the stars," said Sandra Ernst, CEO of Oakland Promise. "They are excellent and they have the opportunity to change the trajectory of their zip code."

Hubbard will be going to CSU Northridge in the fall to study business and marketing with an emphasis on fashion. He's already had a chance to be a part of New York Fashion Week and hit the runway. He's on his way to turning his dream into reality but he also knows his journey is not just about him.

"I've been thinking about it too much, make me want to shed a tear," he said. "My little cousin, my nephew are looking at me. I really have to do this. I really gotta do something that's going to change their mindset."

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