Joshua Smith, a 9-year-old boy from Detroit, Mich., has made national headlines over his ambitious efforts to help his hometown rise out of its ever-sinking debt.
He started off with a goal of selling $1000 worth of popcorn and lemonade and delivering a check of the said amount to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s office.
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After several weeks of vending, not only has Smith exceeded his $1000 goal (he’s raised more the $3,000), the young man has earned the respect and praise of supporters nationwide, the Detroit Free Press reports.
On Friday, several members of the University of Michigan’s basketball team showed up at Joshua’s door with gifts.
“I was so impressed right after I read the story,” said U-M junior Jordan Morgan, 20, of Livonia. “I just felt like, if more people had a mind-set like Joshua, this world would be a better place.”
The Rosa Parks Foundation in Detroit has promised him a $2,000 scholarship towards his college education, as long as he completes high school with a 2.5 grade point average.
A foundation spokesperson cited Joshua’s entrepreneurial spirit and civic-mindedness at such a tender age for the award offer, according to the Free Press:
“Special consideration for a scholarship was given to Joshua because, at such a young age, he is an enterprising civic-minded young man who shares Mrs. Parks’ spirit of service and commitment to building a brighter future in his community,” said foundation president Delora Hall Tyler.
Ironically, Joshua’s mother, Rhonda Smith, was awarded the same scholarship when she graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1987.