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Cleveland Browns accepting Class of 2018 Marion Motley Scholarship applications

BEREA, Ohio -- With the NFL Draft approaching, the Cleveland Browns are now evaluating prospects for the Class of 2018 Cleveland Browns Marion Motley Scholarship, awarded annually to two motivated students whose long-term career goals could include working in education or sports. Students expected to graduate in Spring 2018 may apply for the scholarship, managed by College Now Greater Cleveland, through October 1, 2017.

"The Marion Motley Scholarship is an important component of our concerted efforts to help eliminate barriers to quality educational opportunities so deserving students have access to great resources and the futures they deserve," said Cleveland Browns Foundation vice president Renee Harvey. "We are proud to support this scholarship through College Now Greater Cleveland, especially as we follow all of the past recipients' success during and after college."

Now in its 13th year, the Cleveland Browns' and College Now Greater Cleveland's partnership for the Marion Motley Scholarship provides an opportunity for Northeast Ohio high school seniors to pursue their dreams of receiving a college education. The scholarship has awarded more than $240,000 to 24 students from the region. Among Marion Motley Scholarship recipients, 92 percent graduated or are on track to graduate, significantly surpassing the 18 percent national average among comparable demographics.

Two qualified students will be selected by a panel of Browns representatives and College Now Greater Cleveland staff and will be honored for their achievements during a Browns home game at FirstEnergy Stadium in December.

Last year, Pro Bowl LT Joe Thomassurprised Anthony Harris of Whitney Young School and Aiyana Green of John Hay with the news that they would receive the 2016 scholarships during a visit to the team's facility in Berea. (Video: 2016 Marion Motley Scholarship). Harris and Green were chosen from a pool of more than 350 applicants.

"The Cleveland Browns' dedication to educational attainment is a prime example of the business community recognizing what is needed for our region to thrive and prosper – more students achieving a college degree," said College Now Greater Cleveland CEO Lee Friedman. "Their support of College Now's mission, and the Cleveland Browns Marion Motley Scholarship, in particular, has been invaluable for our students and their ability to access college and persist to graduation. We are extremely grateful for this longstanding and continuing partnership with the Cleveland Browns."

"The scholarship has taken a load off of my shoulders for the fact that I did not have to worry about finding ways to pay my tuition here at Cleveland State," said Saja Abid, a 2012 Marion Motley Scholarship recipient who is focusing on health science and pre-physician assistant studies. "Instead my focus was more on my grades and bettering my academic career. Since I was able to mainly focus on preforming well in my classes, I will be graduating with the honors of Summa Cum Laude in May 2017. I am very excited to be graduating this semester and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me next."

The Cleveland Browns Marion Motley Scholarship, a four-year, renewable scholarship in the amount of $2,500 per year ($10,000 each), honors former Browns fullback and linebacker Marion Motley, who overcame many obstacles to break ground as one of the first African-American players in the NFL and played with the Browns from 1946-53. Enshrined in 1968, Motley was the second African-American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his native Canton. He was a charter member of the Cleveland Browns Legends program in 2001 and was enshrined in the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor's inaugural class of 2010.

Applicants must be high school seniors who will graduate in Spring 2018 and plan to major in areas that could lead to a career working in education or sports, such as but not limited to: accounting, business, communications, event management, exercise science, finance, graphic, design, human resources, information technology, journalism, kinesiology, marketing/advertising, public relations or sports management.

For full details and qualifications for the Class of 2018 Cleveland Browns Marion Motley scholarship, visit https://www.collegenowgc.org/find-scholarships/.

About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:

The Cleveland Browns give back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/community

About College Now Greater Cleveland, Inc.:

College Now provides Greater Cleveland students with guidance and access to funds to prepare for and graduate from college. For nearly 50 years, our goal has been to help students pursue educational opportunities that empower them to embark on rewarding careers and strengthen our community. College Now assists more than 27,000 students each year, delivering college access advising, financial aid counseling, and scholarship and retention services in Greater Cleveland schools, in the College Now Resource Center and through community-based programs. For more information, visit www.collegenowgc.org.

College Now Greater Cleveland Contact:

Elton Lytle

Scholarship and Financial Aid Specialist

216/635-0166

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