HOUSTON (KTRK) --A high school student with a dream of becoming a drum major at Texas Southern University just got a big boost toward his goal.
Zachery Johnson, 18, is a drum major for Kashmere High School's Thunder Soul Marching Band and hopes to continue to the Ocean Soul band at TSU.
That may sound familiar because his story is featured in an ad for Houston's METRO bus service.
Now, his dream is closer to reality. He was presented with a $30,000 four-year scholarship to TSU this weekend.
"When they said $30,000 I was like, 'are you serious? This is what I've been asking for!'" he told ABC13.
Kashmere's band director Ellis Williams said he's seen naturally shy Zack come out of his shell with the newfound spotlight.
"If you've seen him in the parades, he just explodes with a lot of energy," Williams said.
Zack's mother, Kimberly Johnson, said despite the spotlight, Zack remains hard-working and humble.
"Zachery has always know what path he wants to take so he's just going for," she said. "Still a humble kid, real humble. I guess even more so now. More people friendly."
Zack credits his mother, who's a teacher, with helping to keep him on track. He also credits participation in band with teaching him the value of practice and hard work.
"I knew if I wanted to have that leadership position, I would have to step my game up," he said.
With his family and community behind him, Zack hopes to excel in college.
"I will stress. I will freak out about stuff. Just having them by my side, that's good. They really keep me going," he said.
He hopes to major in education and minor in entertainment, and to possibly follow his mother's footsteps and become an educator one day.
Regardless, he said he cannot imagine a future where he doesn't give back to the community that has helped lift him up.
"I know what a blessing this is that other people don't always get," he told ABC13.