CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville School Board is recognizing 12 groundbreaking students on Thursday, June 14.

This recognition is a chance to honor history while also paying it forward to future scholars.

The “Charlottesville Twelve” were the first African-American students to attend the city's integrated Venable Elementary School and Lane High School in 1959.

The living members have now established a scholarship, and the school board honored the group for this effort on Thursday night.

This year's scholarship recipient is Kely Kossi. She’ll receive $5,000, and she says she’s honored to be recognized alongside this historic group of individuals.

“It feels - I don't even know the words right now - I'm just so honored, and humbled, and all these emotions are coming in,” says Kossi. “I'm proud. I'm happy. I feel awesome."

Kossi says she'll be using the money for books and tuition as she gets ready to start her freshman year at George Mason University this fall.