MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two Alabama State University students thought they were being called to a problem-solving meeting with ASU President Dr. Quinton Ross, Jr. Thursday but found it was just a way to surprise them.
Ross and senior officials with Hyundai Motor America were waiting in a conference room to hand over a large scholarship check the two will split.
Jailyn Swann and Mitchell Reed are the first recipients of the Hyundai-sponsored Rainbow PUSH President's Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship.
Swann and Reed will each be awarded $20,000. The scholarships target students who have majors in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) or a business-related curriculum.
"Hyundai Motor America is a vital part of our local economy, and we value this new partnership with the company. We feel that it is the beginning of a relationship that could be greatly beneficial to both ASU and Hyundai," Ross said. "We are especially excited that two of our students will receive this generous award."
"It's a lot to take in," Swann, an accounting major, admitted. She thought she was coming to an interview but quickly realized something was up, but her eyes got wide with excitement when she heard "$20,000".
"It means that I can focus more on my studies," she said as she works to get some of her certifications done. "I have this big blessing that's going to help me get everything out of the way way before I really need to."
Reed, a computer science major, said it's "overwhelming" and thanked God for blessings. The award will allow him to stay focused on his studies, and he's definitely focused. Asked what he would tell his family, he said he was about to go finish a paper and then, laughing, said he would call to wake them up and share the news.