South Florida student Ynette Lopez was promised a college scholarship in 2007, and now that she's a high school senior, she's been told she can't have it. WSVN reports that Lopez was promised the tuition costs from an organization when she was in attendance at kindergarten at Hibiscus Elementary School, alongside 96 other kids.
"They stated that each kid would receive $3,000 per year for whatever four-year college or university for Florida only," Lopez's mother, Zondra Aimes said. She added that she signed a contract with the foundation, I Have a Dream, which promised her daughter would work extra hard in school in order to receive the scholarship. When Lopez and her family moved from Miami Gardens to Broward County around the time she was in middle school, the organization assured her and her mother that it was "fine" and she would still get the scholarship she was promised.
However, now that she's a high school senior, she has been told that she hasn't "qualified" for the tuition fees they promised. Upon investigating the situation further, Aimes was given two different reasons by two different people as to why her daughter was disqualified. One said it was due to the move, while another said it was because they "did not keep up with the program."
"Legally, this is really tricky, because the contract is not clear, and there is wiggle room for both sides," legal expert Howard Finkelstein told the local outlet upon reading the contract from the I Have a Dream Foundation. "The foundation has a strong argument, because after Ynette moved, she did not go to any of their programs, and Zondra said she only contacted them every year or two. But favoring Ynette is that she got great grades, did volunteer work and became the kind of student the scholarship was created for."
I Have a Dream Foundation Miami chapter head Stephanie Trump said that 21 kids moved out of the area following the promise, but Lopez is the only one to not get the scholarship. Trump said she didn't hear from Zondra Aimes since the family moved in 2014. Despite the situation, which almost bares an uncomfortable resemblance to Scott's Tots from The Office, Lopez is currently applying for scholarships at numerous colleges.
Fans of The Office noticed the similarities.
Aimes added that she is considering filing a lawsuit against the foundation in small claims court, and is willing to compromise. "She participated in at least six years of it, so $1,500 every year instead of $3,000? Something, because she did participate," she said.