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14-year-old walks over 2 hours to make it to 8th grade graduation:

‘I wanted to walk cross the stage’

A St. Louis teenager walked more than two hours in order to make it to his eighth-grade graduation. (Source: KMOV)


By Melanie Johnson and Emily Van de Riet, Published:

Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:44 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS (KMOV/Gray News) – A young teenager walked for more than two hours to make it to his eighth-grade graduation, and his commitment to showing up has now secured him a full-ride scholarship for his future.

Xavier Jones, a 14-year-old from St. Louis, walked six miles from his home to his graduation ceremony last week because he was determined to walk across the stage and get his diploma.

“If you want something done, you gotta go ahead and do it yourself,” Xavier said.

Xavier is a student from Yeatman Middle School, but the ceremony was being held at Harris-Stowe State University.

Xavier said his grandfather’s car was not working at the last minute, so he didn’t have a ride.

“I was going to tell an adult, but my grandpa’s car was down. So, I was just going to walk there,” he said.

Unbeknownst to his grandfather and the school staff, Xavier came up with a plan to get there without a ride.

“I looked up Harris-Stowe University on Google Maps, and then I saw the walking distance, and then I said, ‘I could probably make it,’” Xavier said.

Xavier recruited his brother and a friend to make the six-mile journey with him.

“I wanted to walk across the stage,” he said.

Fortunately, Xavier made it in time for the ceremony.

Upon learning of the lengths Xavier took to attend the graduation, Harris-Stowe State University administrators were so moved by his determination that they promised Xavier with a full-ride scholarship to the university after he finishes high school in four years.

Dr. Latonia Collins Smith, President of Harris-Stowe State University, said Xavier’s story is a reminder of the obstacles many students face.

“Many of our students come with a story, and many of our students come with environmental barriers they have overcome or that they are currently overcoming,” Collins Smith said.

The full-ride scholarship will cover Xavier’s cost of tuition, fees and all books someday.

“I just led with my heart, and I followed my heart, and my heart said, ‘This is a kid that needs a scholarship,’” Collins Smith said.

On Wednesday, Xavier received a personal tour of the university’s campus. For now, he said he hopes to be a NASCAR driver after he graduates from college.

Collins-Smith said Xavier’s determination is something we can all learn from.

“At the end of the rainbow, there’s a pot of gold. I learned a lot from Xavier that day,” Collins Smith said. “Even on your worst day, keep pressing forward.”

Copyright 2023 KMOV via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

STL teen who walked 6 miles to graduation gifted

new bike & $40,000 family vehicle

Miami Dolphins.png

Uploaded: Jun 5, 2023

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Terron Armstead gave a teenager a bike after learning he walked six miles to get to his middle school graduation.


A St. Louis teenager has received an outpouring of support after walking nearly two hours to his graduation. (Source: KMOV) (This is the link to the article below.)


By Melanie Johnson

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:59 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2023 at 7:52 AM EDT

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV) - A North St. Louis teenager who walked miles to his 8th-grade graduation now has two new ways to get around.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” says 14-year-old Xavier Jones.

Jones was gifted a $5,000 Ryan Pritchard Electric Bike during a celebrity basketball game on Friday.

His grandpa stood by in shock as the family also received a $40,000 minivan thanks to the generosity of Bommarito Automotive.

“This means a whole lot,” Xavier’s grandfather tells News 4. “I don’t know what to say. I’m so thankful.”

He takes care of Xavier, who is diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia, and his six siblings after their mother passed away a few years ago.

After watching the story on News 4, Cahokia native and current Miami Dolphins player, Terron Armstead, arranged for the special surprises to happen during his basketball tournament at his alma mater.

“We hear a story like Xavier. It’s only right,” says hometown NFL star, Terron Armstead. “Follow Xavier’s example. He’s a leader whether he wanted to be or not. His story is inspiring. It’s motivating. That’s what leaders do.”

Xavier was also given a full-ride scholarship to Harris Stowe State University for his determination to succeed in the face of adversity.

Copyright 2023 KMOV. All rights reserved.

Students, Are You Looking For An Dynamic Internship Opportunity?

Beginning September 2023

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Urban Missiology's Social Media Internship Description:

Top Duties and Qualifications

Are you creative?


Are you passionate about social justice, community empowerment, and human transformation? Can you tell a compelling story in text, image, and video formats that captures the audience's attention?

Urban Missiology (UM) is a dynamic online community that promotes social change and transformation through storytelling, story-sharing, and other educational endeavors. UM is looking for a creative Social Media Intern responsible for assisting in various organizational marketing initiatives. Their duties include creating social media posting schedules, writing captions for social media posts, and tracking analytics for social media campaigns.

What are the duties of a Social Media Intern?

A Social Media Intern, or Social Media Marketing Intern, assists in various organizational marketing initiatives. Their duties include creating social media posting schedules, writing captions for social media posts, and tracking analytics for social media campaigns.

Are you interested?

This is an exciting opportunity to significantly impact influencers and leaders worldwide who are concerned about social justice and transformation for all people—and enabling the next generation of change agents. This position is a flexible work-from-home, Monday to Friday, averaging 12-15 hours weekly. Here at UM, your contributions, thoughts, and ideas will be valued.

Still Interested?

Read on! Bring a sense of adventure, a desire to learn, and a passion for innovation. Send your resume to:

Social Media Intern Skills and Qualifications


Our successful Social Media Intern candidate will have diverse educational qualifications and social media skills to deliver on the job. Essential qualities we look for include: 

  1. Critical thinking and problem-solving

  2. Open and collaborative mindset

  3. Professionalism and a strong work ethic

  4. Self-direction and self-awareness

  5. 2+ years experience in communications, journalism, digital/social media, or equivalent working experience

  6. Excellent oral and written communication skills

  7. Excellent internet research skills 

  8. Mastery of the major social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap and Google+ 

  9. Knowledge of social media analytics software, including Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, and Twitter Analytics, to track audience engagement and campaign performance

  10. Experience with content management systems, word processing software, applications, and image/video editing software

Social Media Experience Requirement


An ideal Social Media Intern will have an in-depth knowledge of social media platforms. The intern will be comfortable creating and managing multiple social media accounts, developing content to inform, educate, and engage the brand's audience to increase awareness and achieve marketing goals, and will be experienced in running targeted ads on social media sites.

Social Media Intern Duties and Responsibilities

Social Media Interns support the digital media staff in developing and implementing outreach and promotional campaigns to boost brand engagement and increase revenue. The duties and responsibilities of a Social Media Intern include the following:

  1. Assist with the design and execution of social media campaigns

  2. Create weekly and monthly editorial calendars to promote company brands on various social media websites

  3. Create and distribute content such as blogs, infographics, videos, and press releases on social media and traditional news outlets

  4. Track social media engagement to identify high-performing ideas and campaigns for scalability

  5. Support marketing team at online events

  6. Perform social media marketing research

  7. Assist with influencer campaign strategy

  8. Respond to comments and DMs on social media platforms

  9. Brainstorm and research ideas for original content

  10. Create compelling graphics to share across social channels

  11. Write social media captions that speak to the company's target audience

  12. Help create and edit short-form videos

  13. Develop new strategies for increasing engagement

  14. Assist with photo/video content shoots

  15. Ensure the brand message is consistent

A typical week, a Social Media Intern meets with the director via Zoom to discuss their tasks. They check on the progress of social media campaigns and pull numbers for marketing employees to discuss during meetings. Throughout the week, they consult with the director or officers of the advisory board as needed. They may also attend events on behalf of UM to get pictures or videos to post on social media. Social Media Interns use downtime daily to update posting schedules and create posts for different platforms.

What qualities make an excellent Social Media Intern?


An excellent Social Media Intern has a strong desire to learn. This means that they aren't afraid to ask questions and continually look for ways to improve their skills throughout their internship. Their creative mindset enables them to contribute innovative ideas to a business's marketing strategy. Further, a good Social Media Intern has excellent written communication to create unique slogans or attention-drawing social media captions. A good social media Intern also has enough knowledge of social media marketing practices to work independently on one or more of their projects.

Who does a Social Media Intern report to?

The social media Intern typically reports directly to the UM director, who will help guide and teach Social Media Interns throughout their internship. Monday and Thursday meetings are held via Zoom to receive daily tasks and ask questions.

Is this a paid internship?

Because this is not a paid internship, Social Media Interns need to be in the process of completing a college, seminary, or graduate degree. They will receive academic credit for the training ended. This ensures they can fulfill the field education requirement for graduation.

How our recruiting process works:

Generally, our hiring process includes the following steps:

(1) Submit a letter of Interest and resume,

(2) Digital Interview,

(3) Live Video Interview with the Hiring Team, and

(4) Offer letter.

Thank you for being so interested!
Submit a letter of Interest and Resume to:, &

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