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Few moments are as exciting as scoring on the last play to win a game. For Alexander Ramos, that joyous feeling can also be compared to getting the opportunity to attend college after becoming a Bright Futures Scholar. This is his story.

There’s an old saying in sports that goes: “Even the last minute has 60 seconds.” And when you’re an up-and-coming student looking for an opportunity to succeed in life, that last minute, with all of its 60 seconds, can be the difference between winning and having to go through the struggle all over again.

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For Alexander Ramos, a student from Miami currently attending the University of Florida in Gainesville, getting his ACT score high enough to obtain a Bright Futures Scholarship was like scoring on the last play of the game.

“When I got back my ACT score, I saw that I met the 100% requirement and I was just ecstatic. I would definitely compare that to hitting a home run in the ninth inning.”

The sports analogies suit Alexander well, as he spent most of his teens behind the commentator’s booth as part of the Broadcast Journalism Program at his high school.

“I’ve been into sports my entire life; my dad put me into baseball when I was three, and that’s definitely when I fell in love with sports. And as I grew older, I realized ‘I’m definitely not going to be the athlete in the sports world.’ But I really found it cool listening to the commentators, so as soon as I could, I got involved in working for the sports department and eventually, about my junior year of High School, I was commentating on all football games and the majority of other sports games.”

Alexander is set to graduate in spring of 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and though he is currently keeping his options open, he “would definitely still want to work in the sports world, not so much sports journalism, but definitely in the sports world.”

Though he is on a straight path now, it was more like being on an obstacle course before. The financial flexibility that the Bright Futures Scholarship has provided for Alexander and his family has been a huge relief. Things might have looked very different for the Ramos house, had he not received the scholarship.

“I wouldn’t be at UF, that’s for sure. It would definitely be different and much harder on my family.”

 

The way to the top

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Every year, thousands of students like Alexander get the benefits provided by the Bright Futures Scholarship Program, part of the efforts of the Florida Lottery to improve the way of life of Floridians by helping them get better education opportunities. But while Bright Futures provides the means, the students provide the hard work.

“You’ve got to requalify for the scholarship every year, so just because you get it once, doesn’t mean you’re done and can take your foot off the gas,” says Alexander. “You’ve got to make sure that you’re grinding and studying as much as you can to keep your grades up. I definitely see how much it has helped my family and I use that as motivation to continue to do as well as I can in school.”

The program was created to help students pursue their post-secondary education dreams. Through the years, it has provided a gateway for students from all walks of life into a better future, not only for them but also for their families and communities. For Alexander, that is the obvious way to go.

“I’ve always been someone that’s been into service, I like to do whatever I can, I’ve done mission trips before. Whenever I have the financial means I would love to donate to good causes to help underprivileged, help the sick, help the needy. Seeing the impact that the Bright Futures Scholarship had on me, I can only imagine the impact that the scholarship has on someone from an underprivileged low-income household.”

The journey to the top, as any sports fan would know, is filled with ups and downs, struggles and triumphs. So, you have to prepare yourself for the task at hand, even if at some points it feels like a daunting chore.

“It can definitely be frustrating at times. But I keep on pushing to maintain it, do well in school and be the best I can. It’s definitely been a huge benefit to my life.”

When it was time for Alexander to prove himself, he went all in for it, and that same opportunity is out there for every student in Florida.

“You should definitely apply, and if you’re not sure if you have the requirements to meet it, then just keep pushing yourself to get to those requirements. Just keep on pushing yourself, that’s definitely one of the most important things in life: having motivation and work ethic.” In any situation, that is a sure-fire method for success.

For more information, visit http://www.flalottery.com/brightfutures 

The Florida Lottery is responsible for contributing more than $38 billion to education and sending more than 880,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery reinvests 99 percent of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Lottery retailers, and transfers to education. Since 1988, Florida Lottery games have paid more than $72.5 billion in prizes and made nearly 3,000 people millionaires. 

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Above content provided by the Florida Lottery.