December 21, 2011 by staff
As a Cleveland Browns rookie in 2005, Edwards announced he’d give $10,000 in scholarships to 100 area eighth-graders if they could graduate high school with over a 2.5 GPA and 15 hours community service. Of the 100 who were afforded the opportunity, 79 met the criteria and have begun their first year of college. Many are attending Ohio universities, but the schools represented spread across the country and include Harvard, Cornell and Johns Hopkins.
“Without this scholarship, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Bowling Green freshman David Gholston told ESPN’s Rick Reilly.
Edwards and his mother developed the Advance 100 program as a way to give back. The way they saw it, they were blessed with Edwards’ football abilities and felt the need to help out others with their good fortune. Though they didn’t expect so many of the students to fit the criteria (only half of Cleveland public school students graduate high school), Edwards didn’t shy away from his commitment. In fact, he increased it.
The 79 students were provided with laptops and other supplies to help them out when they arrived on campus.
“I’m supposed to give people a chance like I was given a chance,” Edwards said.
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