JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Two seniors at Jackson Public School’s (JPS)-Tougaloo Early College High School, Tyneah Buckley and Sydnee Thompson, were recently awarded millions of dollars in scholarships.

Buckley is the second generation in her family to attend college, so when she heard the news that she was awarded $3.7 million and counting, it had a particularly special meaning: “Nobody has done this in my family, so it really was especially big for us to see someone excel in this regard.”

Thompson was awarded $2.1 million. She started early, around her sophomore year, to apply for dozens of scholarships. The amount of scholarships she received, was more than she imagined.

“I was expecting $500,000 or at least half of what I have now. I’m very grateful,” she said.

Both seniors credit their strong support system. Aside from excelling academically, they also said serving their community got them to where they are today.

“This year, this class rose to the challenge,” said Ashley Molden, Principal at JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School.

Buckley and Thompson said Tougaloo College is among the top on their list to pursue their four-year degrees, thanking their educators for their guidance.

Buckley is looking to pursue computer engineering. Thompson intends to own hotels and resorts in addition to forming her own nonprofit catered to social justice.