Written by Jamarian “Trey” Green
Chasing rabbits, daily workout, late nights and early mornings playing childhood football is where it all began. Growing up in a very small town called South Bay, Florida, can be very challenging. Known for its one way in and one way out entry into the city, South Bay taught me how to face adversity head on. I had the “will.” I had to find a “way.”
I knew when I received my first Division I Football Scholarship offer that I had an opportunity. It had always been a dream of mine and so many young males to play college football; now I had received an offer to play football at the University of Central Florida (UCF). I immediately committed and took my talents to Orlando over the other 11 offers received. During my freshmen season at UCF, I played four games before redshirting and deciding to put my focus on playing more my sophomore year. Unfortunately, during this preparation, some very important family relationships were broken which in turn left me with financial hardships and no one to depend on. During these hardships, I turned to trying to obtain money and necessities any way I could and eventually found myself in trouble. To all the youth in this situation, try to find someone you can talk to or trust before getting in trouble. Many told me this but I did not listen.
Being dismissed from University of Central Florida’s Football Team and losing my scholarship was very hard and I struggled with depression. I was embarrassed to return home and face the reality that I had failed. Having to disclose this information to my family set me deeper into depression. I knew there was one person I could talk to and though she would be highly disappointed, I knew that she would have my back and help me get back on track. KD Fletcher, my guardian angel, showed me tough love but with so much compassion. She immediately got in contact with my UCF Coaches and together they got me another opportunity to play football at Garden City Community College.
Garden City was a different world from what I was used to at UCF. I was still trying to find myself and deal with the pain of being dismissed from the program of my dreams, while still not having the finances to do what I thought needed. This had an effect on my attitude and mental health and one thing I learned from Mr. Buck and the ACE program is the only thing I can control is my attitude (another lesson for those in this situation—have a good attitude). Coach McCoy, a coach from North Carolina Central University (one of my 11 former offers) stayed in contact with me from high school, even after turning down his offer. He promised me that aside from football he would always check on me and be there if I needed him. It was him and my Student ACES family that were people of their words and actions. After completing a semester of football and schooling, Coach McCoy offered me again at his new school.
Returning home during the Christmas break I had no idea how I was going to make money and prepare my mind to re-enter the ranks of Division 1 Football. It was the Student ACES Center that mentally and financially prepared me to be able to take advantage of Coach McCoy’s new offer. I currently work at The Student ACES Center every day, volunteering, cleaning, doing landscaping work and working with different programs such as Census outreach and creating signs for our essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the SAC I can now afford to pay for summer college courses, and I will be able to further my education and athletic talents for the third time under the coaching of Coach McCoy on a full scholarship at Alabama A&M University. Third times a charm! I will Succeed! My team and family at The SAC is one of a kind! I am grateful for everyone who played a role in my growth as a young man. This is just the beginning.