Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
Being a good student can be rewarding, but for one Lowndes High School junior, it really paid off Monday.
Seventeen-year-old Jose Urquilla couldn’t believe that he had just won a brand new car. No really, he couldn’t believe it because after his name was called, he thought that he was hearing things.
“My friends had to tell me that I had won,” said Urquilla.
After being tugged on and patted by his friends, it finally hit Urquilla and he grabbed his bookbag, threw it over his shoulder and calmly walked down the steps of the LHS gymnasium as classmates gave him high fives to claim his prize.
Griner Nissan of Valdosta supplied the winner with a choice of three vehicles —a 2012 Nissan Versa, a 2012 Nissan Sentra and a 2012 Nissan Rogue. Urquilla didn’t even have to inspect the cars, he immediately knew he was taking the Sentra.
“I was just telling my friends how amazing it would be to win a car,”
“I just can’t believe it. I’m excited.”
He briefly looked over his new car and couldn’t wait to go inside and announce his choice to the cheering crowd of students in the gym.
After receiving what seemed like thousands of congratulatory pats on the back and woos from various students, Uriquilla finally got to sit in the driver’s seat of his brand new car and take in that new car smell. At that moment, he was extremely proud to be a Viking.
“I think it’s a real good thing they do, especially for the students who try so hard,” said Uriquilla. “It’s an amazing school and it’s a good place to be.”
One of Uriquilla’s teachers, Cindy Osborne, got to be the one to announce his name.
“My heart skipped a beat when I opened up the envelope and saw his name,” said Osborne.
Uriquilla is an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) student.
“He’s a great student who wants to succeed and he always does his work,” said Osborne.
Craig and Clay Griner of Griner Nissan presented the car to Uriquilla. This is the sixth year that the company has supplied the car which was purchased through funds raised by the Wheels Committee of teachers and other faculty members.
“It was started and funded by your teachers,” said LHS Principal Wes Taylor as he addressed the gymnasium full of students.
To qualify to win the car and various other prizes — which included TVs, headphones, boom boxes, net books, Chick-Fil-A gift cards and cameras — students had to be good students and have good attendance and few tardies.
“We want to reward the kids who are just doing the right thing,” said Osborne.
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