This morning Vince shared a link on Facebook to a story, a bit autobiographical, by Deshaun Watson. The story is entitled “What You See” and it was posted in December, 2018. Love or hate Clemson and/or The Texans, this is a story worth reading.
Vince and I sat over breakfast and talked about it. I was touched by how many people helped Deshaun along the way and those he mentioned are names most of us would know. You know there were so many others. Vince said so many helped him because they probably saw his extreme determination, commitment to his goal and sincere desire to succeed.
His mom was a single mom raising four kids, working multiple jobs to feed and provide for her family, living in government housing, yet she had time to volunteer “hundreds of hours” helping Habitat for Humanity. What a woman! What a mom! What an extremely giving lady!
Deshaun had every opportunity to go down a different path but he chose a path to success and he exhibited the kind of commitment that few of us have these days.
Deshaun exhibited a talent (football) that made it easy for mentors to want to help him. Not all of today’s youth are so “help-able” but I think about Vince.
His parents came to the U. S. from Sicily, didn’t have much money and by the time Vince came along, he was always told he was an “accident” and they hadn’t wanted more kids, but for none of their kids did they have the money to send them to college but they grew up from Day 1 knowing they were expected to go to college and excel. Four of the five children earned advance degrees. Vince, not having money or a college fund for his education knew he had to work his tail off to get a scholarship. They lived in Florida by the time he was graduating from high school and he hoped to get a scholarship to University of Florida but ended up getting a better financial deal with Georgia Tech. After graduating, he went to work for the State of Georgia and through an EPA grant, he was awarded a stipend (of sorts) to go back to school for a Master’s. He was able to earn his full salary as well as all his school expenses were paid. Much later, after we were married, he was offered the opportunity through a program at another employer to earn another Master’s. We talked about it . There was no cost to us – just extra work for Vince with night classes online. There were several schools offering programs he could use in his field and he decided on Tulane University. Other than the online classes, there would be a few trips at different times to Tulane in New Orleans and back then, who wasn’t up for a trip to New Orleans?
I was reading him this blog post making sure I had all my facts about him correct. We both laughed . . his jobs and education are all history. Here he is sitting in the middle of Texas, trying to decide what to do next! 🙂