CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – It is a phrase many students want to hear: “you are going to college.”

We spoke to a student who is among hundreds of other students from Charleston County and the Pee Dee celebrated for working hard and pursuing their passion debt-free.

Tyneisha Nelson is going to college – but college will never be a burden to her because she will not have that student debt down the road.

“I grew up in a single-parent household, so it’s always been me and my mom, my sister, and my brother. So, I had to apply for a scholarship so that it wouldn’t be a financial burden on my mom- that’s why the scholarship is so important to me.”

She is among the recipients of the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund for 2022-2023.

“I’m going to Clemson University, and I will be studying chemistry,” she said.

The executive director of the Beemok Foundation said the seven-million-dollar scholarships going out this week will change these students’ lives.

“These young people who have dreamt of going to college, and done all the work to be ready for that, and want to go to some of our state’s very best colleges. And the Meeting Street Scholarship is going to help them close the gap on the really complicated funding puzzle.”

Bell said these students have proven they are committed to excellence; the program has rigorous requirements.

Students must live in one of the nine eligible South Carolina counties, graduate from a public high school, earn the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, complete the FAFSA and receive a federal Pell Grant, and apply to a South Carolina college with a 50% or higher graduation rate.

Finances were the final hurdle they needed to cross.

Ben Navarro and Darla Moore, two of South Carolina’s most successful business leaders, are happy to be helping remove that hurdle, as they believe education means access to opportunity.

Tyneisha will soon start parking her boxes, which is a bit easier because the thought of college debt is not weighing her down.

There is still money available for qualifying students heading to college in the fall. Click here for more information.