Anonymous donor giving $1M in scholarships a year to scholar high school football players

ROSWELL, Ga. — An anonymous donor is looking out for Black high school football players in Roswell and making sure they have the opportunity to go to college.

To get the donor’s help, though, there’s one thing the athletes must do off the field: make good grades.

The donor has just two rules. The kids must make straight A’s, and no one can find out who he or she is.

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In 2018, Centennial High School Athletic Director Jeff Burch was approached by a family close to the program with an idea.

“They saw a picture on Twitter of a group of our scholar athletes and noticed while there is a large group of African American student athletes on the football team, there was a small percentage represented with our scholar athletes,” Burch said.

From that, the Centennial High School African American Football Scholar Athlete Scholarship was created.

“His goal is to give $1,000,000 away each year in scholarship money to students as they go through college,” Burch said.

For each semester an African American football player on the Knights roster earns an A average, they will receive up to $25,000 towards college. That means that over four years of high school, a possible $200,000 towards college is available for each student.

“It’s not just limited to tuition only. This donor wants our students to have the opportunity to be debt-free coming out of college and have everything they need paid for,” Burch explained.

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Two players who have benefited from this stranger’s generosity spoke with Channel 2′s Alison Mastrangelo about how they’re taking advantage of this incredible opportunity.

“It’s insane to realize that’s a whole semester off your family doesn’t have to pay for,” said senior Evan Walker.

Both Walker and Jordan Barbas are graduating this year and have each received at least a semester of college paid for.

“It’s breathtaking and such a blessing to know that’s one way to help your family after they provided so much for me,” said Barbas.

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While Walker and Barbas haven’t had the chance to thank their mystery donor personally, they want him or her to know just how much it means to them.

“I would honestly say thank you for inspiring me to do what you do because that is my goal in life, to give back to millions of kids every year,” said Walker, a defensive end.

“It’s just a gift, a blessing. People should take advantage of the gifts they are given, so thank you so much,” said Barbas, a linebacker and running back.

The anonymous does not have any plans to stop. They just want to help as many Black football players at Centennial High School go to college stress-free.

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