Baylor Uses Fake 'Swag Bag' Giveaway to Surprise Teen With Scholarship
When Daniela Perez stepped onto the court, she didn’t know what to expect. It was Feb. 10, and the South Texas high school senior had come to Baylor University in Waco for a college visit. Her family decided to make the most out of the trip by attending that day’s basketball game against Kansas at the Ferrell Center, and though this was certainly a cause for excitement, it was nothing compared to the surprise that would arrive during an otherwise normal timeout during the first half.
With the game halted, Perez was summoned to the court to take part in what she believed would be a game for a Nike prize bag. And so, she was blindfolded and led onto the hardwood while thousands of fans screamed and applauded all around her. While she may have been confused as to why people were so excited for a prize pack in the middle of a basketball game, the fans had been informed in her brief absence as to the true nature of the timeout.
Rather than running a regular old in-game promotion, the folks at Baylor decided to surprise Daniela with the gift of a lifetime: a full scholarship to Baylor University.
When Daniela took off her blindfold, she found herself standing at center court next to Dr. Linda Livingstone, president of Baylor University. At this point, it’s safe to say that Perez expected that something unusual was about to happen. Livingstone then began to list Perez’s accomplishments as a student, including her position in the top 5 percent of her graduating class, and handed her a gift stating that she would be awarded a full scholarship to attend Baylor starting in fall of 2018.
It’s hard to imagine the emotions running through Daniela and her family at this point. No one in the Perez family had attended college before, and although Daniela was an exceptional student, they worried about how they would pay for her education. Talk about a feel good story.
When asked about how she felt to receive such a gift, Perez explained her surprise with a refreshing humility. "I was already settled on Baylor,” she told KWTX. “It's a dream school. It is for many people but the price is intimidating, especially for my family. Having this scholarship makes it so much easier for my family and for me to achieve one of my dreams."
Sometimes, dreams really do come true. For this story, we’re all for letting the promotional products take the back seat. Props for Nike though for providing the red herring via prize pack. After all, it’s tough to beat a full scholarship.