Akiem Hicks reportedly had a great first Season with the Bears last year. Aside from doing great in sports, the football player has his eyes on impacting Chicago in a different field.
Hicks just made the announcement that he plans to provide help to three Chicago Public School seniors. In partnership with Give Something Back, Hicks will be funding their four-year college scholarships. Give Something Back is a national organization that helps low-income families send students to college.
According to Hicks, he feels like he will be giving the kids a way to jump-start their lives and that the scholarships may put them in a better position where they can become successful later on. He says that this is really special for him because he remembers coming out of high school and he did not have a lot of options back then. His two choices were either play football on a scholarship or get a job.
About 1,000 students received scholarships from Give Something Back. This generally helps low-income Pell grant eligible and academically-driven students. Many of the first-generation college students live below the poverty line. Some have parents that are in prison while others grew up in foster homes.
To be considered for the scholarship, the student must have an average of 3.0 in high school, demonstrate strong character, and take a college preparatory course. The kids will then be paired with a mentor from Give Something Back once they do get in college.
Hicks explains that the beautiful thing about the program is that the organization works with the recipient from start to finish, not letting them off the hook to figure things out on their own, that they will be getting mentorship so that the kids will be ready to face life’s challenges. Although Hicks has already been involved in different things together with his teammates, he is excited about the scholarships because this is his first year branching out doing his own thing.