For many kids around the country, their dream is to go to college, and one Valley teen managed to achieve that dream: attending Arizona State University, with the help of a few scholarships.
Don Grace, however, hit a snag when it came to those scholarships. He found out, when he headed to ASU last fall, that he didn't receive the money he was promised. Come this fall, Grace will start his second year at ASU, and he learned a rather disappointing lesson during his freshman year: one can't always trust people to do what they promise.
"Obviously, it's frustrating," Grace said. "You're counting on that. You worked through high school, continuing hard work through college, and then you find out that help you were counting on just isn't coming."
Grace, who was an athlete and honor student, received a few college scholarships during his senior year at Maricopa High School to attend ASU's Barrett, the Honors College. Grace's mother said two of the scholarships: one from a local group called Flock Ministries, and the other from a national group called Real Life 101, were never awarded to any of the recipients.
That has left some families scrambling.
"You're counting on it paying for books," said Merry Grace, Don Grace's mother. "Two books, three books, meal plan, everything adds up."
Grace's mother said because the extra funds did not come in, Don has had to get loans.
Meanwhile, Don's mother said the organizations are still fundraising for scholarships.
"Now that graduation is coming up, don't say you're going to give more scholarships when you haven't done the 2016 part," said Merry. "You've got to honor your commitment to these students."
FOX 10 Phoenix has reached out to Flock Ministries, which was supposed to hold a ball last February to raise money for the scholarships. The event was cancelled, and FOX 10 Phoenix did not hear back from the organizers. Meanwhile, Real Life 101 responded, in a lengthy e-mail, that they didn't raise enough money to fund the scholarships, and said that according to the fine prints, they made it clear that scholarship funds are contingent on fundraising.
As Don gets ready for his sophomore year at ASU, he said he will keep applying for more scholarships.
"Hopefully, they don't turn out like these ones did," said Don.