Syracuse teen selected for NYS vaccine incentive lottery, gets full ride to any SUNY or CUNY college

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — High school freshman Peter Smith, 15, was one of 10 lucky teens to be chosen for a full scholarship to any SUNY or CUNY school after New York State rolled out a lottery for kids getting vaccinated. 

His mother Kristen admits the first time they started talking about college with Peter was after Wednesday’s big announcement. 

“We haven’t talked specifically about college plans at all really,” Kristen said.

A full scholarship will certainly help get that ball rolling. Her son took part in the Pfizer vaccine trial right here in Syracuse. Once she found out he was given the placebo during the study, Kristen got to work to find an actual vaccine appointment for Peter. 

He’ll be getting his second shot later this month, and that first shot was what got him the full ride. 

“I don’t think he understands it yet, but this is how I explained it to him: set aside the tuition and having a place to live, you have three free meals a day for four years. Think about it that way, and the light bulb went off for a teenage boy like ‘oh wow I get to eat for free’. So that worked for him,” she said. 

Peter is only a freshman in high school now, but college is right around the corner. Though he’s far from a list of finalists for schools to attend, hitting this lottery has certainly helped narrow things down.

Click here to learn how to enter your child in the NYS Vaccine Incentive ‘Get A Shot To Make Your Future’

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Early Voting Info for the 2021 Primary

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area