The year 2020 has not gone the way we had all hoped.

What You Need To Know

  • Xander Jenkin comes from low-income home

  • Scholarship will allow family to avoid debt as he attends Princeton

  • He received the Questbridge Match Scholarship

  • More Good News headlines

One Citrus High School senior tells Spectrum Bay News 9 that the one thing that stood out to him this year is the day he received a full ride scholarship to Princeton.

Many dream, many apply but only a few get in and Xander Jenkin got in. A year ago, Xander never thought he’d read the words “Congratulations."

“Right now, in November or October one year ago,” Xander said, “I was actually touring the different schools in Florida,” because he knew his family couldn’t afford anything else. 

Like many students in Citrus County, Xander comes from a low income family home. Avoiding student loans is a top priority. 

“It’s the Questbridge Match Scholarship, is what I’m getting and I actually found out as a junior," he said of his scholarship.

The program matches over 1,400 students with scholarships to further their education. 

He mentioned that the program gives students the chance to apply and take summer courses at some of the top colleges. “I was like, 'That would be cool,' I was like, 'Sure might as well apply, it’s not a huge thing but that would be cool to do a summer session there.'"

Xander said he gives credit to one teacher that taught him everything he needed to learn to excel.

“Having that close connection is what I don’t know I would have that at another school,” he said. 

His math teacher Ashley Cooper added, “I’ve had Xander since he was a freshman in my class and it's just been amazing to see kind of his growth and his love and his aptitude for mathematics.”

Xander plans on studying physics at Princeton. He said he’s not only thankful for his education in Citrus County but most importantly, “The fact that I get everything and I don’t have to compromise on where I’m going based on my financials. The fact that my education, if I was the son of Jeff Besos would be no different than the fact that I'm living in Citrus County with a single mother. It’s not different, it’s the exact same.”

This year only 99 students from the Questbridge program were matched to Princeton and in Citrus County only a handful of students have gone on and attended an Ivy League school.