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"You have to know that circumstances truly do dictate outcomes - no amount of hard work or hustle or bootstrapping will matter without an opportunity. Throughout middle school and most of high school, I was labeled as a “troubled” student with a long history of causing problems. Although I excelled in magnet courses, no one brought up the possibility of college. I did not have many interests beyond survival, and the thought of attending college never occurred to me. It was not until my football coach casually said, "Hey, you can get an $80,000 scholarship". My coach followed that comment up with an invite to a summer football camp at Indiana University. I am not sure what happened, whether it was the scouts, competitive environment or just merely the opportunity, but I came alive on that football field. I couldn't be stopped, play after play. My coaches were shocked. By the time I completed that football camp and several others, I was offered a full scholarship to each university. I do this work to provide support, familiarity and exposure to students who wouldn't normally “have a chance” because without an opportunity, your best won't matter."

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