Standing in the front yard, ringed by family and friends that are practically family, Bryston Ferguson knew Thursday morning that he had landed a $20,000 scholarship that will help him realize his dream of becoming an orthodontist.
The scholarship and his 4.1 high school GPA are impressive, bittersweet achievements, coming as they do just 16 months after his parents were killed in a car crash that orphaned Bryston, his two brothers and little sister.
The kids’ grandmother, Judy Ferguson — herself mourning the death of her husband of 36 years — moved in to take care of them, trading her empty nest for a full house. By the end of the year, however, the family had been evicted and the children sent to live with relatives and family, scattered from Waco to College Station.
The news of Bryston’s scholarship was made all the sweeter by having his siblings together for the first time in months , and that the boys got a chance to meet the son of baseball legend Mickey Mantle. They hugged tightly in the yard.
The scholarship announcement was just the lure, however. The real surprise was behind them.