HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — 25 eighth grade students in Henrico County got a very special surprise Friday.

The 25 students received word that they had been selected as “VUU Henrico Scholars” and will be awarded full-ride scholarships to Virginia Union University once they graduate from high school in 2026.

The students were among 116 in Henrico who applied for the selective program between November and December. Recipients were chosen based on their submitted essays, an interview, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and letters of recommendation. The selection process also prioritized first-generation college attendees.

The benefits of the program start far before the students begin College. When they start high school, they will be assigned a mentor to help prepare the for college, take part in week-long college-readiness programs during the summers, attend on-campus events regularly, access VUU labs and facilities and connect with local leaders in their academic areas of interest.