Students from Friendship Public Charter School were in mourning last week when one of their classmates was hurt in a double shooting.

This week, they’re celebrating, as 17 students signed full college scholarships, according to WUSA 9.

It was an emotional day at the scholarship signing as the student athletes reflected on the tragedies they experienced.

The friend of signee Jordan Marshal, was killed in a drive-by shooting at age 17.

Marshall told the crowd how his friend taught him how to play ball. “Football was an alleyway for me, a way I can get out all my frustration of the day,” he said.

Another scholarship recipient, Vaughn Taylor, was only five years old when his father was murdered.

“I stay busy, stay motivated,” Taylor said, “because I have football, I have something to work towards.”

Officials credit Friendship’s football program its role in the school’s high graduation and college acceptance rate.

All 200 of this year’s senior class are going to college.

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