A Skyline High School senior was recognized and surprised on Wednesday by former professional athletes and the Dallas County District Attorney.
Dallas County DA John Creuzot was the first in a series of surprises for 18-year-old Kane Bradford in front of his class and teammates.
Bradford has earned a college football scholarship while persevering through hard times in his family.
Creuzot told students how remarkable it was for Bradford to stay focused while overcoming his personal difficulties.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive tackle received a full scholarship to attend the University of Arizona and play for the wildcats.
"Some of you may have to face diversity and challenges, we all do. But let this young man be a role model for you and all the rest of us," Creuzot said.
Creuzot recognized Bradford with a certificate of excellence.
It was one of his investigators who brought Bradford's perseverance in light of his mother's battle with colon cancer to the DA's attention.
"He's more worried about his own sister and his brother succeeding than his own self. This is the kind of person I want to see go all the way," said investigator Michele Baptiste.
Former NFL defensive tackle Tommie Harris was among the former pro athletes who talked about the importance of education.
"Your body is a vehicle, and I had to understand that education funds it," Harris said. "Education is the gas money. And the more education I get, the further I can go. How far do you want to go is the question?”
Bradford was moved by the unexpected mentorship, accolades, and financial support -- including a $2,000 donation to help with his move to Tucson.
"Just seeing these people that supported me and stuff, that's my mother and father right there. Seeing people that supported me, it just brings joy to my heart," Bradford said.
He vowed to continue achieving his goals both in education and football.
"I'm going to tell you all right now, I'm going to keep on going further with my career and future, and do better,” he said.
Bradford will head to the University of Arizona this summer.
In addition to beefing up the Wildcats’ defensive line, he plans to pursue a degree in business.