It was quite a morning for a Springfield high school senior, who's also a star soccer player and future student at American International College.
When she arrived for a meeting with AIC representatives, she got the surprise of a lifetime.
It was a struggle for words for Adamaris Castellanos, a senior at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield.
Dozens caught her totally off guard as Castellanos was ready to speak with members of American International College, as a finalist for their four year scholarship.
"I was told it was an interview, so I was preparing for the questions," Castellanos said.
There were no questions here - just tons and tons of cheers as Castellanos learned she had won the scholarship made possible by both AIC and Scholar Athletes, an eight year old program that supports academic achievement through athletics.
Scholar Athletes has more than 20 'zones' located in high schools across the state, with three in Springfield.
Students who are part of these zones get tutoring and help prepping for college.
Scholarships are awarded based on academics, zone participation, and financial need.
Castellanos has a 3.9 cumulative GPA, is captain of the soccer team, and has been a 'zone' member since her freshman year.
Scholar Athletes said this decision was a slam dunk, and her mom couldn't be prouder.
"She works hard, very hard, so I'm very excited for her," said Keni Castellanos, Adamaris' mother.
The scholarship will make all the difference for this family. It's a full ride - four years including rooming and boarding - $45,000 a year or nearly $200,000 for her education.
"Now she can have the full experience of college and focus more on what she wants to do," Keni added.
Castellanos wants to be a trauma nurse and also plans to try out for soccer.
The scholarship has changed her life. Her mom told Western Mass News she would've had to commute to that school without it, if she even went at all.
It's a moment this student-athlete will never forget.
"I know that I made my mom proud and that is what makes me the most proud of myself," Adamaris Castellanos said.
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