TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As the school year winds down, Bucified Bert is celebrating an outstanding high school senior who is getting ready to graduate from Hillsborough High School.

Bucified Bert, also known as Albert Owens, has worked for WFLA for more than 30 years.

However, he’s passionate about channeling his love for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into an avenue to help students succeed. 

He’s committed to launching their college career with the Bucified Bert Scholarship.

A scholarship recipient must write an essay and demonstrate the values of a community leader. 

The B.U.C.I.F.I.E.D. acronym stands for “Be Understanding Citizens and Identify Friendly Individuals Every Day” because, as Owens explains, “a stranger can be danger.”

This effort is part of the Bucified & OLE is Alive Mission, OLE (Operation Legacy Emma Lee). The mission is in memory of his late mother who passed away in 2004. Bucified Bert refers to her as “Emma Lee, The Legend.”

“It was a struggle getting through 2004 without my mom, but on her dying bed I told her I would keep her legacy going,” said Owens. “I told her I would be the role model that she expects me to be.”

For the last 18 years, Owens has been keeping his mother’s legacy alive through this program.

“I like to help students be all they can be in life,” said Owens. “We want you to get your education, but we want you to be cognizant of your surroundings every day.”

Sophia Jelks is this year’s Bucified Bert Scholarship recipient.

The $1,000 scholarship will help her begin her college career at Florida State University, however, it’s the support from the community that means even more.

Jelks recently lost her cousin, Emersen, in January when a severe asthma attack claimed her life.

“It was hard because we are the same age and she was supposed to be graduating high school as well this year,” said Jelks. “I just turned 18 and she should have turned 18 two days after me.”

Now, Jelks is leaning on her faith to push through her pain.

“It’s been hard, but it’s been a motivation to continue to graduate and keep her legacy on and continue for her as well,” Jelks said. “Everything will be OK, and everything will happen for a reason.”

For more information about the Bucified Bert Scholarship, visit Bucified’s website.