Last week, students at one D.C. school were rallying around a classmate who was hurt in a double shooting.

On Wednesday, they celebrate 17 classmates who signed full scholarships to college.

Crime tape and flashing lights. Evidence markers and stained clothes. This is more than just a crime scene, more than just a lead story.

This is life for far too many of D.C.’s students, so when they come out on the other side, they can’t hold back the tears.

It was an emotional day at Friendship Public Charter School on Minnesota Avenue in Northeast, D.C.

Jordan Marshall's close friend Ralph was killed in a drive by. He was 17 years old and taught Jordan how to play ball.

“Football was san alley way for me,” said Marshall. “A way I can get out all my frustration of the day.”

In fact, school leaders said Friendship’s football program is one of the secrets to their successful graduation and college acceptance rate. The school enrolls more than 700 students. All 200 of its seniors are going to college.

“I stay busy, stay motivated,” said Vaughn Taylor, "because I have football I have something to work towards.”

Taylor was only five years old when his father was murdered. He knows how easily it was for him to get angry and turn to temptation.

“We start everyday and sometimes I text him ‘pray before you do tests before you go out’,” recalled his mother Lavonda Jones, “invite your friends to church.”

So when these football players sob, realize there is relief and realization behind their tears, that though they came face to face with death, life is just beginning.