LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Simmons College of Kentucky received scholarship money Tuesday from two corporate giants, and school officials believe it will help keep some students off the streets and others out of debt.

Heaven Hill donated $30,000 in scholarship money and MainSource Bank provided scholarships to five students. Those benefits are designed to help students like Devrin Lewis, who plays basketball at Simmons and said it has helped him stay focused and beat the odds.

"Instead of sitting at home just working and not knowing exactly what I want to do, I'm in college, and I am going to school," Lewis said. "I am working toward an education and degree."

Simmons President Dr. Kevin Cosby said the scholarships will help the school continue the mission of educating students and changing lives.

"It is the most rewarding thing that I have seen in my life ... to see this institution revitalized," he said. "So we are trying to expose these kids to a world that they would never experience if they were stuck in the concentrated poverty in which the live in."

Simmons offers scholarships to most of its students, but Cosby said the free education comes with a price.

"We have a low threshold for entering Simmons, but we have high expectations that we expect all of our students to meet," he said.

And those are the expectations that keep students like Lewis on track and the court.

"When I wake up, it's practice," he said. "After that, it's class and then work and then practice again."

On Thursday, University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and Adidas will be at Simmons for another big announcement.

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