WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Two District of Columbia brothers are headed to college out-of-state without worrying about paying for tuition. The D.C. College Access Program (DC-CAP) made it possible for their family.

The brothers are named Tyson Minor and De’Andre Gore. On top of both earning a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Massachusetts Lowell, they each overcame their own obstacles and defied odds to realize their goal of higher education that is paid for.

“Honestly, I think I got lucky and I came across it,” Minor said when asked how he found out about DC-CAP. He said an academic advisor encouraged him to apply, and he felt like it was a third chance for him. Previously, he had hopes of getting a sports scholarship for basketball, but was injured and no longer able to play. Then, he applied and was denied another academic scholarship opportunity. He said, “I heard (about) it, that was all I needed to hear. I was very intrigued, and that was all I strove for. It was all I wanted, the scholarship.”

Minor’s little brother, De’Andre Gore, knew about the opportunity because of Minor. As a competitive younger brother who always stuck by his brother’s side, it was his goal to follow in Minor’s footsteps.

Gore achieved his goal of getting the full-tuition scholarship from DC-CAP at just 16-years-old. He graduated from high school a year early and will be joining Minor at UMass Lowell in the fall of 2022. The two have a third brother who is also at UMass Lowell on a sports scholarship. Gore said, “I’m really nonchalant; but it feels good though, it really does. Going up there and seeing both of my brothers, it’s pretty cool.”

The boys mother, Chiffon Kelly, said she is beyond proud of her kids. She had Minor when she was 17-years-old, and said she never thought her future would end up like this. “I mean, two children with full tuitions, going to the same college and one of them graduated in 11th grade; I’m just proud and still in shock, and I just thank God for the opportunities.”

When asked how Kelly’s young men stayed motivated, she answered without skipping a beat. “Family. Love. Just love and hard work and dedication, and letting them know they can be whatever they want to be; that they can be better than me and there’s opportunities out there and take advantage of them.”

“I would recommend any parent to please try it,” Kelly said. “Just apply your child. You never know where it’s going to go.”

Minor is graduating in 2023 with a major in Business Finance, focusing on Human Resources. Gore plans to study Business Administration, focusing on stocks.

DC-CAP was established in 1999, and the nonprofit has given more than 500 scholars more than $4 million in scholarships. In 2022, more than $1.1 million has been given to 200 high school graduates.

“The DC-CAP University Partnership Program is instrumental in helping young people from D.C. earn their undergraduate degrees from excellent higher education institutions,” said Tosha Lewis Hughes, interim president and C.E.O, DC-CAP. “The colleges and universities that are part of the Program demonstrate high completion rates for minority students and comprehensive support services for low-income and first-generation students. The first class of University Partnership scholars is set to graduate next year, and we are looking forward to celebrating their success.”