POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- "Overjoyed, thrilled, ecstatic -- I still am."
That was Maksim Bolton's reaction when he was given life-changing news.
Recently, the Pottsville Area High School graduate was one of three people in Pennsylvania to be awarded the U.S. Army's Minuteman Scholarship.
"It's something you always see in like magazines. Wow, this person got this and you never think it'd happen to you, but it did. It's amazing," Bolton said.
Bolton will attend Temple University in the fall and major in international business. He'll enter the institution's ROTC program on a full scholarship.
"I'm very proud of my son because he's young, he's ambitious, he has all the ability and a lot of desire to help other people, to help our great country, America," said his mother Olja Bolton.
"My father was in the Air Force for a while and was also a police officer in the city of Reading. My grandfather on my father's side fought in the Vietnam War and my grandfather on my mother's side was in the Soviet Air Force for about 52 years, so there's a big military history in my family," he added.
At Pottsville Area High School, not only was Maksim stellar in the classroom, but he was also a member of more than 10 student organizations. That lengthy resume made him a prime candidate for the scholarship.
"Max and I had been friends of Facebook for a while now, so I was seeing him out there volunteering with the Salvation Army, playing with his bands, just being a good kid with a good head on his shoulders. Going in the right direction," said Staff Sgt. Robert Belcher.
"Look around at everything that's happening in the country and the world and things need improvement. I'd like to think I can help at least somewhat with that," Bolton said.
Following graduation, Maksim will have to serve six years on active duty.