HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The past year, 2020, was a challenging one for many, including students.
But even during a pandemic, one Sacred Heart High School student continued to work hard to pursue his dreams.
Now, he’s on his way to an Ivy League school.
“It’s literally a dream,” Channing Ware said. “Like when I saw the letter, I could not believe it. I was just numb. I was in shock.”
Ware, a senior at Sacred Heart in Hattiesburg, said he’s been dreaming about going to the University of Pennsylvania since he was in ninth grade.
“The Wharton School of Business is just one of the top business schools in the United States,” Ware said.
Ware is the president of his class; has a 4.0 grade-point average and scored a 33 on the ACT.
“We are so excited for him because we know Channing has worked very hard to accomplish this goal and we’re supporting him one hundred percent and we’re looking forward to see how things go in this new chapter of life for him,” said Tonia Ware, Channing’s mother.
Tonia says she and her husband began mentoring and working with their son at an early age.
“First we always taught Channing to believe in God,” Tonia said. “You always put God first in any and everything that you do.
“And, we instilled the important of education.”
Ware said that support has been unwavering.
“They have never stopped supporting me,” Ware said. “They have been my number one fans. Always in the front row of any concert or speech that I’ve given.”
Ware said he will visit Penn later this month, and while the weather may be a bit different, he said he’s ready for the new chapter in his life.
That chapter officially will begin come August, when he begins his pursuit of a degree in economics. Ware said he also will focus on completing a double concentration in communications and marketing.
“I hope to get some kind of job in a marketing field or maybe even like a television group or like the news company,” Ware said.
Ware said this opportunity wouldn’t be possible without his teachers.
“They’ve all pushed me,” Ware said. “They’ve all challenged me in the classroom. They’ve all helped me become a better student and person, so I’d just like to thank every single one of them.”
Tonia Ware said that push has paid off for her son.
“They have played a very important part in Channing’s growth and development and education,” she said.
Ware encouraged everyone with big dreams to never give up.
“Always believe in yourself because that’s the most important thing,” Ware said.