GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some South Mississippi seniors have a little extra money now to pay for college. This week, the "Get2College Scholarship Squad" dropped-in on seven schools to surprise students with scholarship checks. One of those celebrations took place at Gulfport High Friday.
An enthusiastic group rushed into the Gulfport High auditorium and broke into a rhythmic rap right in the middle of an AP assembly.
"My name is Steven Brown and I'm from ESF. I'm from the Get2College Center and I've got this check," he sang.
The Scholarship Squad struck again, this time, surprising three Gulfport High seniors.
"It's going to college, so don't start begging. The winners are Marguerite, Anna and Meghan!" he sang.
A stunned Marguerite Marquez, Anna Swigris, and Meghan August stepped forward to accept their $1,000 checks. Their parents also showed up to share in the celebration.
"I was really surprised. At first I wasn't sure what was going on," said Marguerite Marquez.
"And then they called my name and I was like, what?" said Anna Swigris.
"I was so confused and when they said it was for the essay, I was speechless," said Meghan August.
The seniors entered the annual Get2College essay contest. This year's topic was: If you had to give a graduation speech, what would you say?
"When I was writing my essay, I kept telling my parents there's no way I'm going to get this," said Meghan.
About 1,300 students across Mississippi submitted their essays. Only 50-winners were chosen. Sixteen of them came from South Mississippi.
"The students come into the center and work with us and then to come and surprise them with a check for $1,000, it's a great feeling," said Get2College Director Kimberly Trosclair.
The amount meant a lot to the students, who are facing rising tuition and tighter competition for scholarship money.
"I plan on going out of state, so it'll make a huge difference," said Anna. "I feel pretty happy."
"I think it's great! I'm excited," said Marguerite. "It could have gone either way, but I'm glad I applied."
A fourth Gulfport High student, Makayla Henton, also won the contest, but she was attending another school event at the time of the surprise announcement.
The Scholarship Squad also appeared at these following high schools this week: George County, East Central, Ocean Springs, St. Martin, Biloxi and D'Iberville. The Squad will make even more students smile in the coming weeks.
"Hopefully, we'll be coming to a school near you soon," said Trosclair.