Glaxo Smith Kline awards Opportunity Scholarships to students who have faced hardships

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Glaxo Smith Kline offered several scholarships to students who have overcome major obstacles yet remained committed to challenging themselves academically to better their lives.

Dante Law was struck by a stray bullet, inches away from leaving him paralyzed. Yet, he used the tragedy to motivate him at school.

"I'm always a person that will push forward, so I was going to find a way," said Law. "I was not going to let anything stop me from moving forward."

Kawthar Hasan lives in North Philadelphia where her family continues to struggle with finance and health issues, but she worked hard to excel academically.

"I'm extremely excited," she said. "I'm just truly blessed and I'm truly thankful for everything."

Symone Johnson was so grateful to have received one of GSK's Opportunity Scholarships that she broke out in tears.

"This scholarship, it really means a lot to me," said Johnson. "I cried when I got the email, I was so excited, I was so excited because paying for college isn't cheap and this award was a blessing for me and my family."

Two other students who were not able to attend the ceremony also received scholarships from GSK.

From all accounts, these scholarships are life changing

On hand for this evening's event was Zamir Brunson, who received a GSK Scholarship last year and is now a straight-A music education student at Temple University.

"I think when you find people willing to invest in you, that boosts the value that you find within yourself a little bit," said Brunson.

Most people know GSK from the many pharmaceuticals they produce around the world. But perhaps not as many know that since 1989, GSK has been changing lives through this scholarship program.

"The more that we can do as a company, the more that we can do as human beings, the better off our society is going to be," said a representative from GSK.

And because of programs like this, Symone Johnson says it offers hope for others who might think they don't stand a chance.

"You don't have to let your past define you," she said. "You can keep pushing, you can be a better you. You just have to have that drive and don't let anything or anybody tell you differently."

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