Vanzell Dupont, Jackson High student, wins $5K

Public selects winner of the “What Drives Your Dream?” contest

Miami Times staff report | 4/10/2014, 9 a.m.
Miami Jackson Senior High School student Vanzell Dupont wins a $5,000 scholarship as part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour. Photo credit: Norma Galeane

Miami Jackson Senior High School senior, Vanzell Dupont was awarded a $5,000 scholarship as part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour.

His efforts also granted the schools football team with $4,000 to help with academic programming.

Nearly 3,000 people casted their vote and Dupont was selected along with two other Miami-Dade County Public School students out of 1,000 applicants.

Dupont and the others were selected upon a video submission. His video detailed his childhood experience of growing up homeless.

“My life I have been through a lot,” Dupont said. “When I was four my mother and I were homeless — going to elementary with the same clothes. . . not getting anything for Christmas I knew we didn’t have much money.”

Dupont said at a check presentation at his school, “I’m so grateful to my family, friends and fellow students who voted for me.”

Dupont’s dream is to become a psychologist and do social work one day. He said he likes to help others and is now looking forward to his future.

“The scholarship will help me realize my dream of going to college and becoming a psychologist so I can dedicate my life to helping others,” Dupont said.

Ford has invested about $1 million with Miami-based organizations over the past three years alone.

“On behalf of our school, alumni and community, I congratulate Vanzell for winning the ‘What Drives Your Dream?’ contest, said Carlos Rios, principal of Jackson High. “He is very deserving. We are proud of all of our students who submitted essays describing their dreams. This program has been a wonderful experience for our school.”