SAN ANTONIO — They say money doesn't grow on trees, but it seemed to be sprouting out of the ground for a Cast Med High School student last month.
"I thought it was trash initially," Honor Smith said. "Then I realized that it was like cash."
Smith, a high school senior, said she was coming to school one October morning when $300 was on the ground outside her school, and she became suspicious.
"It was in a line, almost like somebody had set it out there too, for you to find," Smith said. "And so I was like, this is a trick."
The 17-year-old called her mother, who advised her to give it to school officials. Smith said she took the money to Cast Med principal Dr. Eddie Rodriguez.
"What came to my mind is, who loses $300," Rodriguez said. "And where is this person? Because they're probably looking for $300."
He told the San Antonio ISD student if no one claimed the money in 30 days, it belonged to her. The student, who wants to attend Howard University, said the funds would help defer college application fees.
Later the same day, Smith was going to her car in the parking lot when curiosity led her to the same spot where she had found the cash earlier.
"And again laid out in a line was another $300," she said. "And I was like, you've got to be kidding me."
At this point, the teen said she thought she was on an episode ABC's, "What would you do?" More than the possible lens of a camera was the temptation of finding money again, and she did get tempted.
"Even if by some chance this person was laying it out for somebody to find, it still belonged to somebody else," Smith said. "And I wouldn't have felt right taking it."
She gave the cash to Rodriguez again. He was not surprised.
"I think she's one of the students who truly lives up to her name," he said.
The next day, the principal said he got a call from a man who referred to his effort as a longshot.
"I don't even know why I'm calling. Maybe I should just hang up," Rodriguez recalled. "And I said, no, I mean, what is it?
The caller lived at an apartment complex across the field from Cast Med. He told the principal en route to get a money order; he lost $850. The rent money came out of his pocket when he pulled his cell phone out. The caller wanted to know if anyone had found it.
"I'll tell you what. They didn't turn in $850, but someone found $600," Rodriguez said. "And as soon as I said that, he yelled with excitement. Mom! Mom, they found $600! Mom, they found $600 of the 850!"
The man came to the school, got his money, and thanked Smith for being honest.
"I was happy to give him, you know, the majority of his money back," Smith said.
The teen said her parents would have been disappointed if she had done anything else. She didn't want to let them down---not with a name like Honor.
"I've heard, you know, your honor, and, you know, it's an honor to meet you over and over and over for the last 17 years," she said.
Smith wants to pursue a film degree but wants to be a singer. She said her skills at Cast Med High School might help fund the dream.