Beyond Sports Foundations supports student athletes

May is usually the month where many student athletes accept college scholarships to schools around the country.

Beyond Sports Foundation (BSF), a Chicago area organization, helps the young students not only be good athletes, but also well-rounded people.

Recently, a group of five high school seniors earned college scholarships, all thanks to BSF.

"We use the power of sport to transport lives. We know that sports will end, but our student athletes use their sport as a catalyst to get to other things," said Kim Michelson, BSF executive director.

Solomon Smith, a wrestler at De La Salle High School who is going to attend the University of Montana, Great Falls, is one student who has benefited from BSF.

"They help you have that balance," Smith said. "First you tutor for like an hour or two and then you go to work out at the facility across the street called EFT."

BSF alumni help the younger student athletes understand what to expect in college.

"You're never going to play football for your entire life. So getting through the academics and getting through life with the grades that you have, it will take you a long way," said Devonte Dunn, a student at Nazareth High School who earned a football scholarship to the University of Toledo.

Graduating from Beyond Sports is more than just an after-school program, it's a foundation for students to be more confident in their pursuit of their dreams.

"It's not just how well you play on the field or keeping your grades up, those are kind of like pre-requisites, especially at a Division 1 school," Michaelson said. "But it's also about the intangibles, and character, what kind of teammate you are, those things are critical and we just infuse that into all of our programming."

Smith said when asked what he would have done without BSF, he says: "It's always hard to say because you don't know where you are without your family."
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