Alejandro Rodriguez Rosa, a recent William Fleming High School graduate, is honored with a special award from school superintendent, Dr. Rita Bishop.
Rosa moved from Cuba to the United States three years ago and did not speak English.
"I wanted to learn English," Rosa said. "I think it's cool. I wanted to learn, talk to my friends and teachers."
Rosa said it took him about a year to fluently speak and understand English, and after that he quickly found himself in advanced classes.
"He is very, very smart," said Bishop, who honored Rosa with a special $1,000 scholarship. "I think his story teaches us the importance of great teachers and the challenges people face, showing the tremendous power of the human spirit."
Rosa plans to attend Liberty University in the fall, where he wants to study computer science.