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By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 17 high school students from North Philadelphia have received Temple University’s 20-20 Scholarships. The recipients are all from areas close to the Temple University campus.

The scholarships provide financial aid to high school seniors who might not otherwise be able to attend Temple.

Each recipients gets a $5,000 scholarship to Temple, and they are automatically signed up to receive future scholarships.

One of last year’s inaugural recipients was Verishia Coaxum. She’s now a sophomore English major thinking of pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice. Coaxum says the scholarship made a huge difference for her.

“It allowed me to live on campus. This is my first year at White Hall,” Coaxum says. “It also got me my first job at Women’s Christian Alliance teaching youth. So it was a lot of networking and learning and meeting new people. It was a great experience.”

Coaxum also spoke to the new recipients about why they are special, and encouraged them.

“To be proud of where they’re from,” she says. “Because most people associate North Philadelphia with crime and death, but there are good things that happen in North Philadelphia and we’re one of those examples.”

The 20-20 scholarship program will create 250-four year scholarships over a ten year period, all of them benefiting students in the neighboring communities.

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