One by one, each with a key in their nervous hands, several recent graduates walked up to a shiny, white 2019 Toyota Yaris. They put their key in the lock.
These students all had one thing in common. They had perfect attendance from kindergarten through 12th grade.
And, because of that dedication to education, Toyota of Tampa Bay chose to honor one of them with a brand new car.
The first six students tried their keys. They wouldn’t turn.
Then Megan Graves, who recently graduated from Bloomingdale High, walked quietly up to the car. She stuck her key in the lock and wiggled it around a bit.
The door opened!
The look of shock on Megan’s face was genuine. Her mom rushed toward her and grabbed her in a bear hug.
Then Megan got in the car.
Megan has been a hard worker since she was very little. Once in kindergarten, Megan got sick and the nurse called her mom to pick her up. Megan can remember crying and crying. Even then, she didn’t want to go home and miss a moment of class.
Her mom admires her daughter’s hard work. She says Megan has always been driven—but it wasn’t until Megan was in third grade that they even thought about the significance of perfect attendance.
In third grade, Megan was honored for showing up every day.
Her prize was a bike.
Fast forward nine years later and the prize is significantly bigger.
But again, so is the accomplishment.
"This is just a geat way of showing and rewarding people—that hard work really does pay off," explained Toyota of Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Schols.
Toyota of Tampa Bay donates a brand new Toyota each year to reward a lucky student and send the message that applying yourself as a student will lead to success in life.
Megan will use her new car to get to and from HCC, where she will begin studies to become a nurse.