As many of you know, I first got involved with Everybody Wins! and the Power Lunch program back in 1998. I was fortunate to have read each week to a boy named Jamal Jones. As I wrote about last year, Jamal and I stayed in touch over the years even after he "graduated" from Power Lunch in fourth grade (see Rich and Jamal: Reunited 10 Years Later).
This spring, I was excited to learn that Jamal would be graduating on-time with his high school class and that he was applying to colleges. He graduated from East Boston High School last Saturday and my family was honored to be invited to his graduation party. It was a joyous occasion to see Jamal's family and friends celebrate this important milestone in his life.
But the real surprise came midway through the evening when Jamal stood-up and thanked everyone for coming and supporting him. Before concluding his remarks, one of his aunts stood up and asked him to open the card she had for him. To Jamal's and nearly everyone's surprise, inside the card was the news that he had received a full scholarship to the University of New Hampshire! We could not be more thrilled for Jamal and his family. He is a wonderful young man with a bright future ahead of him.