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Success on the Court

FIU Online and the Miami HEAT teamed up once again to offer the chance to win up to $20,000 in an undergraduate scholarship to one lucky participant. Out of over a thousand sweepstakes entries, Scarlett Brenes was selected for the opportunity to “Shoot for Tuition” —and she made it count.

On Monday, April 13th, Scarlett stood center court at half time at the American Airlines Arena to make a series of shots that would bring her closer to realizing her dream of earning a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She had the opportunity to make a lay-up, free-throw, three-pointer, and half-court shot, all while racing against a 30-second clock. Each successful shot represented a distinct scholarship amount that ranged from $500 up to $20,000.

In order to be eligible, participants had to sign up for the sweepstake via FIU Online website or by visiting the FIU Online “Shoot for Tuition” booth at one of the Miami HEAT games before March 31st.

Scarlett first learned about “Shoot for Tuition” on Twitter and knew she had to give it try. She had recently been accepted to FIU and knew this was a great opportunity. She submitted her entry the last day of the raffle and two days later she got the call letting her know she was a contestant. At first, she thought it was an April’s Fools prank but soon realized it wasn’t.

She immediately started practicing every day after work with her boyfriend. She wanted to be as prepared as possible for the big day.

After days practicing, she knew she was ready. Anxious yet motivated, Scarlett attended the last HEAT game of the season.

“I was really nervous because I don’t like crowds, but just being there made me feel very excited,” said Scarlett.

With the clock ticking and the crowd cheering her on, Scarlett easily made the layup on her first try.  After missing the first free-throw, she nailed the second, securing $2,500 towards her fully online bachelor’s degree.  The three pointers proved to be difficult but her excitement was apparent as she carried her $2,500 check off the court; an amount that can cover almost an entire semester of tuition.  

The HEAT won that same night that Scarlett got one step closer to achieving her goal of obtaining an online undergraduate degree at FIU. 

“I’m just very thankful to FIU Online and the Miami HEAT for such a great opportunity. I had a lot of fun.”