The donor, a member of the community who did not want his identity revealed, was inspired to make changes after realizing the lack of diversity in the Centennial High School athlete scholarship.
He contacted the school’s sports department with concerns about their program, which required student-athletes to have a GPA above 90.
“When we tweeted a photo of these varsity athletes after one of our banquets, it was like 16 kids on the football team, and all but one were white,” athletic director Jeff Burch told CNN. of Centennial High School. “Our football team doesn’t look like that, our team is predominantly African-American, and he said ‘This has to change.'”
The donor decided to find a way to get black students to focus on their grades as much as on sports.
While Burch said he expects something like an iPad, TV, or football fee payment, what the unnamed philanthropist offered was much more generous.
For each semester of law, a black athlete will receive one semester of college paid in return.
“It blew me away,” said Burch. “A lot of kids thought it was unattainable, they thought they couldn’t do it, but they did. And when they realized what they were capable of, that they can achieve the goals they can achieve. they settled down, it changed their lives. “
“The stock market changed my life”
So far, five students have received the scholarship since the launch of the Centennial High School African American Football Scholarship in 2019. The school, which is part of the Fulton County Schools, is located in Roswell, in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. The school has 1,950 students.
One of the students is Evan Walker, an 18-year-old lineman for the soccer team. Walker was never the type to get bad grades, but they weren’t always A.
“The stock market changed my life and completely changed the way I look at life,” Walker told CNN. “It pushed me into a different frame of mind. Either I can be average or above average, and it made me realize that I can get all the A’s, just to prove to myself that I can get what I want. “
The opportunity motivated the new graduate to see how far he can go academically.
And his hard work paid off. Walker, who chooses between pre-law at Purdue University and civil engineering at Georgia Southern, will receive three semesters of his tuition paid.
While the scholarship will help ease the financial burden of going to college and having to choose between a dream school or somewhere more affordable, Burch said the impact goes beyond that.
“The financial gift is obviously amazing, but the dedication, work ethic and study habits required to get that 90 will serve them so well to move forward and prepare them for life after high school,” did he declare.
“It really has the potential to trigger a generational change for these students because they have their own families and children of their own.”
Once preoccupied with concerns about how and where they might attend college, Walker and his four winning peers are now all one step closer to their goals.
“I don’t want to be the person who sees someone who’s okay and says, ‘I wish it was me. “I’m going to make sure it’s me,” Walker said.
“To any kid who feels like they can’t compete with other white kids who get scholarships they don’t get, don’t let that stop you from being the best in or out of the classroom, even if it takes your whole life. ”