LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Eight JCPS students heading to college will have some financial help paying their expenses, thanks to the generosity of JCPS staff.  

Dr. Marty Pollio stopped at six different schools on Friday to surprise the students, who had no idea they were receiving checks from the new JCPS Employee Sponsored Student Scholarship Fund.

Pollio created the scholarship fund earlier this year, and says the money came solely from the paychecks of administrators and teachers. He was pleasantly surprised by the amount of money donated to the fund -- $48,000. "It just shows you how much our JCPS employees care about our kids," he said. 

Students at Western High School were shocked when the head of the school system showed up at their senior meeting early Friday with an oversized check, but none more than Asha Reaves. She was blown away when it was revealed that the $11,000 check was for her.

Reaves says she believes education is "so important," and plans to use the money to help pay her tuition at IUS. 

"It makes me want to work harder, and make sure I'm careful with the money and don't disappoint anybody," she said. 

Pollio and his staff spent the morning and early afternoon delivering checks to students at five other high schools, including The Academy @ Shawnee, Butler, Central, Eastern, and Waggener. They even came back to Eastern High School because senior Mahshad Taheri wasn't there the first time they showed up. 

To qualify for the scholarship, graduating seniors needed a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and a demonstrated financial need. A total of 116 applications were received and then reviewed by a committee before the final selections were made.

The amount of the scholarships corresponded with the students' individual needs. 

They applied through the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL). A total of 116 applicants were matched through the foundation and then reviewed by a committee.

The funds are being disbursed to each student's respective college, and can be used for tuition, books, academic fees, and room and board. 

Here's a complete list of students who received scholarships:

  • Asha Reaves, Western - $11,000
  • DeNasha Turner, Academy @ Shawnee - $10,000
  • Val Kukharskaya, Eastern - $10,000
  • Ashley Wright, Butler - $8,000
  • DeJa'Nae Jackson, Central - $3,000
  • Mahshad Taheri, Eastern - $2,500
  • Zeinab Hamado, Waggener - $2,500
  • Kemo Camera, Central High School - $1,000

There was one catch: Pollio says he expects to be invited when the students graduate from college. 

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