COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – One Hardaway High School senior had her dream come true on Thursday. 17-year-old E’lyssia Brown, was shocked to receive $40,000 from the non-profit organization, CollegeBoard. She described the surprise as “winning a car on a game show”.

“I applied to a lot of stuff and went through a lot of sites just so my parents would be proud of me for looking through college stuff,” said Brown.

Brown was awarded through the BigFuture program that is in association with CollegeBoard. The program aims to simplify the steps between high school and college for students. The program awards two $40,000 scholarships a month and $500 scholarships randomly.

Brown hopes to attend Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Fla., and she intends to major in Psychology. She said working at a fast food restaurant inspired her to choose that major because she wants to understand her customers better.

“It’ll take off us having to pay out of pocket and then us coming up short in the future when we have to pay student debts and things of that nature. The scholarship will go towards college and it will be easier on our backs,” said Brown.

Brown’s family including her mother, Carlus, was in attendance as well for the surprise. She said she had no idea that E’lyssia had been applying to scholarships and was speechless when she saw the award.

“It’s beyond believable because I didn’t know anything about her doing this as far as putting in the scholarships and stuff like that. For her to follow my footsteps as well as, her dad’s footsteps that’s an A+ for us,” said Carlus.

E’lyssia is excited to join her father and sister by the beach in Florida in just a few months.