A Darmstadt Middle School pupil recently learned it pays to get good grades.

Ikechi “Ike” Nwangoro, 14, was selected as one of three pupils worldwide to receive a savings bond from the quarterly “You Made the Grade” program sponsored by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

The random drawing rewards pupils in grades six through 12, who enter the contest and maintain a grade-point average over a 3.0 with a $2,000, $3,000 or $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond to be used toward college.

Ike, an eighth-grader, was selected for the $2,000 bond. He currently has about a 3.5 grade-point average.

He keeps up his grades with a study plan his parents made for him that includes waking up at 5:30 a.m. each day to prepare for tests and get ahead.

“Ikechi” means “by God’s power” in the Nigerian language, Ibo, and he and his family believe all the good fortune they have received stems from his name.

Ike was born premature at six months. A doctor told his parents he would not live, but his father, Olemeforo, knew he could change his son’s fate with the perfect name.

Now Ike thanks not only God, but also his parents and AAFES for helping his future become a little brighter.

He plans on going to college and majoring in chemistry, though his parents would like him to study mathematics. He hopes he can attend Duke University, but he said he would leave the decision ultimately up to his parents.

“We have plans for him, but we will be proud of him in what ever he decides to do,” said his mother, Gloria. “This award will help Ike aspire to work hard in school and continue to get good grades.”

Along with the savings bond, Ike received a coupon book valued at $50.

Department of Defense Dependents Schools students stateside and overseas, as well as home-schooled children, may enter the drawing held every three months. For more information, check with local store managers or

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