Belmont Reaching Out With ‘Bridges To Belmont'
by Shannon Royster
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University is making a difference in the community once again with its "Bridges to Belmont" program.
For the second year in a row, the university is providing fully funded four year degrees to dozens of lucky students. Twelve young lives at Stratford High School changed in an instant. High School senior Brooke Hampton said she couldn't believe the good news.
"He was like congratulations, and I just started crying and shaking because I was just overwhelmed with excitement," she said.
Andrew Corlew said he also received the same message from Stratford principal Michael Steele.
"I'm trying to hold it in, but when I get home I'm going to be off the walls," he said.
These seniors just learned they've all been accepted to Belmont University on a full scholarship thanks to the Bridges to Belmont program. Steele said he was more than excited to pass along the announcement.
"Emotions were very, very high especially for the parents who really know what a significant opportunity this is for their child," he said.
Belmont president Dr. Bob Fisher said the program, created to help high potential students whose families might not have been able to send their kids to college, is in its second year.
"It's the greatest privilege you could imagine to be in a position to be able to help people and to invite folks to come be a part of Belmont," he said.
They all had to work hard to be accepted to Belmont. They had to create a resume and an essay on what they've had to overcome, go through an interview and have good grades, but for these students, it was more than worth it.
"Growing up I never really thought I would go to college because I didn't have the money and my parents both didn't go to college," said Hampton. "I just figured I'd be another one who didn't go but being able to be a part of this Belmont program."
Hampton wants to be a nurse and Corlew wants to study bio-chemistry. In addition to the students at Stratford High, the Bridges to Belmont program handed out scholarships to seniors at Maplewood, Whites Creek, and Pearl Cohn high schools.
So far the program has helped a total of 56 students attend college.