NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Three local students got the surprise of their future Wednesday, one that is going to help them get their college careers started.

The Access College Foundation awarded three very special scholarships. The first one was handed out at Maury High School in Norfolk.

“We call them the ‘beating-the-odd scholarship’ because the student had to write an essay talking about things that they had overcome in order to get to their education and be college-ready,” said Bonnie Sutton with Access College Foundation.

The students each received $25,000 in education, but none of them knew just how much it was.

Cameron David-Elsberry received the first scholarship Wednesday morning. He plans to major in nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the money will help out a lot.

“I feel it’s really amazing. I’m pretty grateful to receive this type of scholarship, they don’t really have this much money for school and I’m really grateful,” said Cameron.

Then it was Tiger territory. Oscar Smith student Victoria Rojas was next; she too will attend VCU and hopes to become a neurosurgeon one day.

“I feel ecstatic, I don’t know, it’s like everything is coming all at once,” said Victoria. “It’s a great feeling, it’s like all my hard work is paying off.”

And last but not least, we head to Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach where Catherine Kelly received the special award. She’s still undecided about what her future is, but she’s staying in town to attend ODU and calls the scholarship a blessing.

“This is going to help me. It will cover the rest of what me and my mom would have been worrying about for the next four years,” said Kelly.

Congratulations to them all!