Former Texas A&M athlete Mike Evans gives back to community with scholarships

Former Texas A&M athlete Mike Evans gives back to community with scholarships

Dekia Greene has spent her high school years helping African-American community in the Brazos Valley.

She organized the first Black History Month pep rally and helped raise funds for the Brazos Valley African American History Museum in her four years at Bryan Collegiate High School.

On Friday, former Texas A&M Aggie turned Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Mike Evans helped Greene realize her dreams.

Greene was one of five local high school seniors that received a $2,000 scholarship from the Mike Evans Foundation at the halftime of his celebrity basketball game at College Station High School.

Twenty-five students submitted essays on why the scholarship will help them to attend college and how they will use the opportunity to give back to their community. Greene said the financial aid helped her make the decision to choose her dream school -- TCU and its high price tag -- in order to earn a social work degree, which she will use to give back to minority groups in her community.

"I was making a hard decision on if I was going to be able to afford TCU, then I got this scholarship, and it relieved my stresses and made it feel like [an even] better opportunity for me and the right choice," she said.

Greene will follow her relative, former TCU running back Aaron Green, to Fort Worth.

Classmate Antonia Renfroe, College Station High School students Callie Fowler and Cameron Payton, and Raquelle Cyphers, a senior at McCallum High School in Austin, received certificates from Evans during halftime of an exhibition game that was played in front of several hundred fans who paid to support the charity.

"I think, if you work hard, you should be able to go to college," Evans said. "There's a lot of kids that work hard and don't have the means to go to college. I just want to give them the best head start that they can get."

It was the first charity event Evans hosted in College Station, after holding similar charity functions in his hometown of Galveston and his current home in Tampa Bay, he said. The former Texas A&M football standout joined a team of Aggies that included Ryan Swope, Deshazor Everett, Dante Hall, Davonta Burns and Derel Walker.

"He's always been one to put others first, and it's good seeing him back here in town for great causes," Swope said.

Opposing the Aggies were a team composed of Evans' Buccaneer teammates, led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston.

"Anytime that somebody -- with the level of talent Mike is -- and he humbles himself to come back to the place that gave so much to him in College Station and hand out scholarships, that just shows the type of character he has," Winston said. "I'm so proud of him for him starting his foundation and the impact is has on the community."

With a laugh, the former Florida State standout said his team let Evans' Aggie squad win, considering he was back in his old stomping grounds.

"I'm happy to come back because Aggies show an enormous amount of love," Evans said. "I'm just happy to be back and continue to get the love that they've always shown me."

And, with a little love from Evans' foundation, Payton will eventually return to the Brazos Valley from Stephen F. Austin University to be a nurse.

"I want to be a nurse so I can give back to those who can't provide for themselves the care that they need."

   Source: Travis L. Bown | The Eagle


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