My story Hello my name is Cedric Hill. I am 30 years old, and I grew up in Valdosta Ga. Growing up with both parents was a challenge with financial situations. Being the oldest of 3 kids had its up and downs, but made me the man I am today. The first time I became a fan of football was when I would watch Deion Sanders high stepping in the end zone! That’s when I knew I wanted to play football to dance like Deion. Growing up not having the latest fashion was the big thing. I would often be teased about my high water pants or because I didn’t have the new Jordan’s or Nike’s that were out. It really crushed my self-esteem at times but sometimes being a leader and not following the crowd is the thing to do. Playing football and basketball really taught me to never give up and have faith in all that you do. It also showed me how to dig deep and give my all. Playing football was my world! I realized in my junior year of college that making it to the NFL might not happen, and that I needed to finish school to prepare for life after sports. I attended the University of South Florida. I majored in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences/Social Work. Being a student athlete was a tough job juggling books and shoulder pads, but in order to stay on the field I knew that my school work had to be the first priority. My motivation was my parents and not wanting to go back to my city of Valdosta to work a dead end job! The rough part of being a student athlete was trying to be that perfect role model for the younger generation looking up to me. We had to set examples for the youth while becoming men/women ourselves. It was very challenging. The rewards of being an athlete helped me achieve goals that I set for myself. It taught me how to fight through tough situations and never give up when things fell apart. I’m currently a high school football coach for Tarpon Springs High in Clearwater, FL. I coach Wide Receivers and Tight ends. I really enjoyed teaching and mentoring the kids! I think every student athlete around the world should always have a plan B. Everybody wants to make it to become a professional athlete but you don’t have to stop there! You can become that doctor, lawyer, or business owner you are going to school for. Whatever you do never give up on yourself! The hardest thing to do is give up on the sport you have played all your life to start a career in something you have no clue about. Even though you may have a degree it’s still hard to find decent paying jobs that fit the field of your study. While playing football at USF I would visit the hospitals and visit kids. Some of the kids taught me how to be strong, fight and never give up. We would read with them, even eat with them. We enjoyed the patients as much as they enjoyed us! I had a mentor by the name of Mrs. Myrtics Landers while attending University of South Florida. Without her I don’t think I would have advanced in college. She got me on the right track with my major, but also life lessons to become a better person and a man. I love helping people, especially kids. Working with Reality Speaks will give me the opportunity to be a mentor and also to change the lives of the future.
- Undergraduate: BS degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences/Social Work; Football Student Athlete (University of South Florida)