KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Five hard-working students a year are given scholarship money to attend a college in Kansas or Missouri, which is something many students say would not be possible otherwise.
"When they said my name that I got it, I was like ‘oh, I really got it?’" said 19-year-old Lamond Rushing, a recent MLB Royals All-Star Scholar.
"It was a big deal, and I'm the first one in my family to go to school," added 21-year-old, Kelsey Schriver, one of the first MLB Royals All-Star Scholars.
Both scholars say being chosen for this scholarship program is truly a blessing.
"Me and my family have been having financial problems for a while," Rushing said., "Last summer I had to take on two jobs, during school, and during the summer to help out."
"When I was in high school, both my parents lost their jobs, and they ate through all the savings that we had,” said Schriver. "By the time I was ready to start applying for college, I was like ‘I can`t, I don`t have any money, how am I going to pay for this?’"
Sally Dannov, with the 20/20 Leadership organization, says the program made up of about 400 students in 20 high schools all over the Kansas City metro area.
"Educate and expose students to community issues, workforce development, help them prepare for college," Dannov said.
A 20/20 Leadership program alumnus on the Royals staff helped them develop a relationship with Royals, who in turn said they were hoping to develop a scholarship program. Thus the MLB Royals All-Star Scholars Program was born.
"The Royals put back funding from the 2012 All-Star game to make that happen for our students," Dannov said. "We've been interviewing and working with students, and naming five Royals All-Star scholars every year since then."
Program alumni choose all the scholars, who must complete the 18-month 20/20 Leadership program to apply.
"It is a four year scholarship that is renewable, and it`s base on community involvement, GPA, and the fact that they`re going to stay in the Kansas or Missouri area,” said Dannov.
"The Royals scholarship, $10,000, will really help out for college," said Rushing.
"I wouldn't be at school if I didn't have it," Schriver said. "It`s provided me more than just money to go to school, it`s given me opportunities and also I can tell people I`m a Royals scholar and they`re like how does that happen and I have a huge story that starts those networking opportunities for me."
All the scholars will be attending a Royals game next week on the 20th. More than 25 students will be going, and the scholarship winners that just won in May will be going out onto the field to be introduced.
For more information on 20/20 Leadership, CLICK HERE.