STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - More than 2,000 Georgia Southern Eagles get their diplomas this weekend.
For two of them, it’s a milestone that almost didn’t happen. It happened because of the community stepping in during tragedy back home.
Zae Moss and Versace Nicolls say the month of September felt like an entire year. They watched on TV as Hurricane Dorian ravaged their home island of the Bahamas. As their families suffered damage, they eventually realized it could have cost them their last semester of school.
“It dawned on me. I have tuition to be paid. I have books to buy. My car broke down. The bank isn't open. How am I going to do this?” Nicolls said.
They’re grateful to the people and groups in Statesboro that adopted them to help them and 27 other Bahamian students.
“When they said, ‘We’re going to help you.’ I was like, ‘Wow, these people really care about us.’ Some people promise to help, but they never do. But they’ve been actively involved in our lives,” Moss said.
To the parents, the help of their children can't be forgotten.
“You don't expect this in 2020. This isn't happening. To see people still have love in their hearts. That's a big thing for us,” said Marcus Nicolls, Versace’s father.
“We knew they needed more than just a check. We knew they needed parents. And that's a big ask. Getting those phone calls from 29 kids has been pretty remarkable,” organizer DeWayne Grice said.
While these ladies have reached a finish line, Grice and others point out the rest still need a hand.
Both girls say they don’t know how they’ll feel when they walk across that stage. But they’ll know a community helped them get there.