PHILADERLPHIA (WPVI) -- It was all smiles Thursday night down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard where some lucky families learned their children had been selected to receive four year partial scholarships to a quality, tuition based K through 8th grade school of their choosing.
Nicole Brown of South Philadelphia said, "We found out that we won the lottery and I just busted into tears, it meant everything to me."
The program is sponsored by the Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia.
A privately funded organization selected families through a random lottery program.
Jahlee Hatchett of Pennrose applied on behalf of his son.
"I just applied on a whim, had no idea I would get it, put it out there and I got it, so I was really excited," he said.
The goal of the program is to give low income Philadelphia families access to quality tuition based schools.
CSFP Executive Director Ina Lipman said, "We typically receive about 10,000 applications andwe're very fortunate to award 2,000 new 4 year scholarships each and every year. We currently have 5,200 children on scholarships."
Throughout the day families have been getting calls that they have been selected.
The scholarships mean a lot to parents and their kids.
Brown added, "I just want the best for them. I want to be outside their element. I don't want them to be in a box where they just have to be in the public school system."
Children were glad their parents applied and then won.
Fuhayd Luton says, "My mom worked hard."
Sumayyah Luton of South Philadelphia added, "I felt really happy for myself, my brothers, my mom, me and my dad because it's really a great opportunity."
"Education is the pipeline to success. It's the key to the future so it's extremely important to me," Hatchett said.
Since the program started, over 22,000 scholarships have been awarded in the random lottery. The organization says 85 percent of those recipients end up going to college and then enter the job market.
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