(CBSMiami)- Five South Florida high school graduates got a big surprise Tuesday when former Miami Heat forward Shane Battier video called them to inform the students they had been awarded a $5,000 scholarship. The five scholarships, totaling $25,000 were part of the Miami HEAT scholarship program presented by BankUnited and the Miami Heat Charitable fund.
This marks the seventh year of the program, honoring students that have demonstrated excellence in both academics and community service. The scholarships are normally given out at halftime of a Miami Heat game, but with that not being possible this year, the program set up the conference calls saying there was one final interview. That is when Battier hopped on the line to give them the good news and you can see the reactions in the video above.
“In partnership with the Miami HEAT, our commitment to providing college scholarships is one of the many ways BankUnited helps to lift up the next generation of business and community leaders,” said BankUnited Executive Vice President and Head of Consumer and Small Business Banking Lisa Shim in a statement. “Today’s graduates already have shown themselves to be resilient in the face of some of life’s toughest challenges, and it is as important as ever that we continue to come together and find ways to support them on their path of learning. We congratulate these five South Florida high school graduates and the entire class of 2020, and wish them all the best as they pursue their dreams and embark on their next stage of life.”
The five scholarship winners are: Logan Alvarez (Miami Southridge Senior High School), Tatiana Barnes (Miami Country Day School), Isabel Armedilla (Marine Academy of Science and Technology at FIU Biscayne Campus), Anyeli Pro (Coral Reef Senior High School), and Eklia St-Leger (William H. Turner Technical Arts High School).
“The Miami HEAT organization is proud to partner with BankUnited to recognize the outstanding achievements of these South Florida students and help them on their journey to realizing their dreams,” said Eric Woolworth, president of The HEAT Group’s business operations, said in a statement. “Already, they have accomplished so much through their leadership and service to their communities. We look forward to seeing all they will accomplish as they continue to pursue their goals.”