MIAMI -

Miami Central Senior High and its student have had their share of struggles. The once frequently F-rated school was almost shut down, and in 2005, its alumni association and others stepped in to help.

"When we became aware of the problems, we went into crisis mode," said William Clark, president of the Miami Central Rockets Alumni Association.

While Miami Central may be best known for sports, Clark said the school was known for its academics in the '70s.

The alumni association then started the laptop initiative was born. New computers were donated to the hardest working seniors at the end of the year.

"For those students who made the necessary sacrifices, for those students who put in the work, for those students who did what they had to do to rise above the adversity -- for them, we had to reward them," said Clark.

Those students include Janary Gray, who graduated in 2008.

"Them coming back to give me a laptop... put me on that even playing field," he said. "I don't have to scramble around and look where I'm going to get this from or how I'm going to do this project that I got to do or how I'm going to type this up."

Gray played football at Morgan State and surprised himself when he received good grades shortly after arriving.

"It motivated me a lot," he said. "It grounded me, it humbled me, it showed me that people cared."

About 50 laptops were donated last year. If you would like to help, contact the Miami Central Rockets Alumni Association, Inc., at PO Box 69-4704, Miami, FL 33269.