Cohen: Unforgettable Day For Three High School Students

By Josh Cohen
May 11, 2011

ORLANDO -- Imagine sitting in a high school class – for instance an elective like TV Production or Psychology – and your teacher delivering the lesson of the day when unexpectedly a raucous crowd storms through the door with party poppers, blow horns, pom pom’s and other commemorative noisemakers.

Or even more enthralling: Picture being informed that you must return to your previous classroom for mystifying reasons before the same enthusiastic assembly marches in to convey some exhilarating news.

Some reactions and emotions may include jubilation, delight and perhaps even some disbelief.

For three high school seniors in the Central Florida community, a moment of shock and curiosity promptly evolved into total elation and happiness when they learned that they were Orlando Magic Youth Fund scholarship winners on Wednesday.

Jessica Taylor (Freedom High School), Louvens “Laron” Louis-Jeune (Dr. Phillips High School) and Roscelin Figueroa (Lake Mary High School) expressed a variety of emotions when they were startlingly presented with scholarship checks of $10,000 each.

For the last six months, students across the area competed for scholarship money to any in-state college of their choice. After gathering all of the requirements, which included test scores, grades, a written essay and a comprehensive interview with the decision makers, it was decided that Taylor, Louis-Jeune and Figueroa were the perfect aspirants.

Let’s take you through each of these invigorating presentations from what turned out to be a day none of these students will ever forget:

Taylor, who will attend the University of Central Florida in the Fall as a Journalism major, was enlightened when Magic staff members, including Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw and Magic Dancers, sauntered into her TV Production course.

Indisputably baffled about what the celebration was all about at first, the Orange County resident was overjoyed when she was told of the news and will certainly take advantage of this golden opportunity.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “It’s a great leeway into college.”

For Louis-Jeune, meanwhile, thunderstruck may best describe his reaction.

Clearly stunned but also ecstatic about the honor, the big Magic fan will certainly remember this moment for the rest of his life.

“I’m going to put this in the diary,” he said while in Psychology class. “It’s going down somewhere on paper.”

Louis-Jeune was also thrilled to meet former Magic superstars Anderson and Outlaw.

“It just added some strawberries on top,” the future Florida International University student and Athletic Training/Physical Therapy major said.

Finally, the band of greeters traveled to Lake Mary to surprise Figueroa, who was told to return to her English class so that everyone can come and present her with the awesome news.

Some ambiguity about why she was told to report back to her previous classroom quickly transformed into euphoria when all the correspondents stormed in.

Raised in Venezuela before relocating to the United States in 2005, Figueroa didn’t know the English language prior to her family moving to Florida.

As a result, it was only fitting that the forthcoming UCF student and Medical Engineering major earned the accomplishment in her English class.

Flooded with tears from the sheer joy, Figueroa said: “This is going to help me reach my dreams. Now my parents don’t have to worry about how I am going to pay (for school).”

Though just three students earned scholarship money from this year’s presentations, OMYF Executive Director Betsey Bell along with Anderson and Outlaw provided encouragement by speaking out to other students about how important it is to strive and reach high for their goals.