PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A couple of Philadelphia high school seniors who have overcome big challenges were surprised today with $5,000 scholarships.

David Buckholtz, a senior at the Science Leadership Academy, had no idea he was about to be handed a big $5,000 check during a morning ceremony at his school.  The scholarship was provided by Sun Life Financial to students who overcame the odds.

David’s mom, Myra Best, says her family has certainly endured their share of hardship.

“My husband at that time poured gasoline on our porch and tried to kill me and the kids in the house,” she recalls.

But David, who plans to become an aerospace engineer, has thrived.

“I just think I’m different because I have that constant motivation and constant drive to constantly keep on going and doing — no matter what is given to me, I always overcome it no matter how hard, difficult, or easy it might be,” he said.

The other Philadelphia scholarship went to Bintu Sherif of Motivation High, who survived the civil war in Liberia.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060.

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE