Braylon Edwards is showing everyone why you should stick to your word. Now a member of the New York Jets, Braylon Edwards ranks in with LeBron James when it comes to being one of the most hated athletes in Cleveland ever since being traded during the 2009 season. After being dealt to the New York Jets, Edwards stated that he needed a “fresh start” after the reputation he had in Cleveland. Fans adored him until the minute he was traded but he always flew under the radar as he had LeBron James to compete with as the fan favourite in Cleveland.
Two years prior to being traded, Edwards promised 100 Cleveland high school students that if they maintained a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, as well as performed 15 hours of community service, then he would pay for their college tuition. Now, two years after being traded by the Browns, Braylon Edwards is coming through on his promise and living up to his word.
“As the 2nd most hated man in Clev & a man of my word, today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland years ago,” Edwards tweeted. “The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program and head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. Guys, enjoy and embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way,” said Braylon Edwards in a statement according to the Sporting News.
Each scholarship is estimated to be around $10,000 per person, bringing the grand total to $1 million. This was something that Edwards wanted to do from the bottom of his heart. He was not looking for a tax write-off or to receive something for what he was doing, he simply just wanted to provide 100 children with a brighter future and a chance to excel in life. He hopes that by these actions the students will be forever thankful of what he did for them and will grow up and do something to help out the community or someone else around them in need.
Edwards promised all of this to the children through a program called the ADVANCE 100 Program; an educational program that was established by the Braylon Edwards Foundation back in 2007 when he first made the promise to the children. The Braylon Edwards Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing and meeting the needs of under-served youths in the concentrated areas of education. The goal of the Braylon Edwards Foundation is to emphasize the importance of education by providing scholarships and incentives to youth who demonstrate strong commitment and effort to excel in academics, conduct and community volunteerism.
There have been some other reports that Braylon Edwards actually picked 101 students rather than 100 but whether it was 100 or 101, he has the right idea. As soon as a player is traded or leaves a city, the fans look for any reason to jump down their throats or will forget about them in a split second. The community will make them feel unwanted like a virus or infection and will give them the impression that they are hated in the city. However, when they continue to interact with the community like Braylon Edwards is doing, they slowly begin to remember the good times that they brought the city. They find it easier to forget about the rough times and find it even easier to move forward in life with everything and remember nothing but the good times. When an athlete moves on with his career, the organization never forgets them. Even when the fans want to move on and forget about them, they find it hard to forget about the foundations and charities that they started while playing in that city so no matter what jersey Braylon Edwards was sporting last year and may sport this year, he made a promise to these kids and there’s no going back now.
To learn more about the Braylon Edwards Foundation, visit http://www.braylonedwardsfoundation.org/home.php?id=1