In the cafeteria, 140 anxious Gulfport High students waited. They all have perfect attendance for the school year. Each one, hoping his or her name gets called.
"And the winner of the new car is Alesha Knox," the principal announced.
A stunned Alesha Knox bounced out of her chair and rushed outside to claim her prize -- a red, 2004 Ford Focus.
"Congratulations!" fellow students shouted.
"Now don't let go of that clutch," the principal advised Alesha as she sat behind the wheel and started the engine.
"No words can explain right now. I can't believe it," Alesha Knox said. "I never really win anything. So a car. Wow! So this is great."
When asked if she has a car right now, Alesha answered "No. I'm driving my dad's truck. I don't know how to drive a stick, but I'll learn. I'll learn quick."
Alesha's mom suddenly showed up, after someone called her about the news.
"She said last night, 'Momma, what if I won that car tomorrow?' So I said, 'Baby, you'll have a brand new car.' She's very hard working. She's very diligent in what she does. She deserves it," Felice Knox said.
Southern Auto Brokers of Gulfport not only donated the car, the company also paid the taxes on it.
"It was just something to give the students something to strive for, and of course, a new car is something to strive for, for sure," said the business manager Allen Holder.
It wasn't the car that has driven Alesha to attend classes every day. This senior has not missed a day of school, since the fourth grade.
"I love school and I think education is important and we get it for free, and I feel like I should be there everyday to learn," Alesha said.
And Alesha expects to drive her car to college at Southern Miss, and continue her perfect attendance record. Throughout the year, Gulfport High has given away other perfect attendance prizes, including a laptop computer and an I-Pod.