Student athletes representing a broad range of sports recently were awarded scholarships for taking care of business on the field and in the classroom.
More than 100 athletes from the Fort Bend Independent School District gathered to celebrate the 1st Annual Spring Scholarship Signing Day Celebration on May 1 at Wheeler Field House in Sugar Land.
The event, a collaborative initiative of the Russell Okung “UP” Foundation and the FBISD Athletics Department, recognized student athletes from a range of high school sports, other than football, for their academic and athletic achievements.
“The purpose of this great event is to celebrate and recognize Fort Bend ISD student athletes for their hard work in the classroom and on the field of play, and to share the message of the importance of following through with fulfilling your commitment to stay in school,” said FBISD Director of Athletics Philip O’Neal.
The open to the public event was attended by more than 400-plus people celebrating 107 Fort Bend ISD student athletes (other than those football players who signed on Feb. 6) who signed or will be signing a scholarship to continue their education and participate in collegiate athletics.
More than a million dollars in scholarships were awarded to recipients to further their post-secondary academic and athletic careers.
Okung, a former Bush High School student and current all pro offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks, founded the “UP” Foundation in conjunction with mother, Dorothy Okung, to promote the message that “Knowledge is Power” and encourage students to stay in school and get their education while pursuing their athletic careers.
“The Fort Bend Athletic Department shares in this message with Mr. Okung making our partnership in this event a perfect match,” said O’Neal.
Dorothy Okung, COO of the Foundation, commended O’Neal and his staff for “going above and beyond themselves” in coordinating the celebration.
“My heart was so overjoyed to see all the students signers and their parents. It was a happy, joyful atmosphere filled with expectations and can-do attitudes,” said Dorothy Okung.
Other NFL Moms in attendance included Cleotha Aldrige, Gloria Orakpo and Mary OJO, who served as greeters at the event.
Bush High School Head Football Coach Allen Aldridge, a graduate of Willowridge High School and former Denver Broncos Super Bowl Champion, spoke to students about the importance of staying in school and getting a good education.
For a list of FBISD student athletes honored, visit the FBISD website at http://www.fortbendisd.com/docs/athletics/fan-alert-college-scholarship-signings-spring-2013.pdf