In partnership with College Now Greater Cleveland, Browns Give Back offers a scholarship every year to two Greater Cleveland high school students in honor of former Cleveland Browns fullback Marion Motley. The Marion Motley Scholarship Fund was established to provide an opportunity for Northeast Ohio High School Seniors to pursue their dream of getting a college degree while honoring the legacy of Browns Hall of Famer Marion Motley – who broke down barriers in football to create opportunities for others.
As one of the first African-Americans to integrate professional football in 1946, Motley overcame many obstacles and was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. In the scholarship application, students write an essay connecting how they relate to Marion Motley and the challenges he faced. Additionally, the scholarship aims to help first-generation college students who plan to have a career in education or professional sports after college.
Selected from over 230 applicants, Courtney Dunn from Solon High School and Robert Garrett from St. Martin de Porres High School will be awarded a four-year renewable scholarship totaling $10,000 prior to Sunday's game against the Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Earlier this month, Browns Give Back invited Dunn and Garrett to the Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio, for a surprise announcement that they had won the scholarship.
In partnership with College Now Greater Cleveland, Browns Give Back offers a scholarship every year to two Greater Cleveland high school students in honor of former Cleveland Browns fullback Marion Motley.
Browns Give Back has offered the Marion Motley Scholarship for 12 years. To date, Browns Give Back has awarded $240,000 in scholarship money to 24 students, and 92% of recipients graduate or are on track to graduate in six years. This is compared to 11% national average for low-income students.
"When I saw the scholarship, the word adversity really got to me," Dunn said, "and it was the one that made me think I would be good candidate for this because I've faced a lot of adversity in my life through school and bullying and I overcame it and did great things."
"This scholarship stood out to me because last year in my English class, we had to write a vignette about something that impacted our lives greatly," Garrett said, "and what I chose was my football career. I used to play football and this scholarship just matched up with that perfectly."
Garrett, asked to describe his proudest achievement, pointed to his road to the Marion Motley Scholarship. "Just being here right now, being given this opportunity to go to college and achieve bigger than what was around me," he said. "I'm proud of myself for making it this far."
The pair join a long list of achievers, including 2016 winners Aiyana Green from John Hay High School and Anthony Harris from Whitney Young High School.