Washington Valor linebacker Jimmy Gordon presented a $10,000 check to recent Woodrow Wilson Senior High School graduate Micah Darden during the Valor game on July 7. This is the second consecutive year that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation awarded a $10,000 scholarship to a D.C. football student-athlete through the District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP). Recipients must attend D.C. public or public charter schools to be eligible for the scholarship. Candidates were required to write an essay on what inspired them to play football, what lessons they learned from the sport and how those lessons will help them throughout college and as they begin their career in the workforce.
Micah’s football career started at age five with the Takoma Sharks. He remembers dreading his first few months playing football and found it quite challenging. However, Micah didn’t give up because he was playing with both of his older brothers, and they loved it. With his father’s guidance, he stuck with the sport and found his niche – he had a love for tackling and soon began playing middle linebacker.
Over the years Micah drew many lessons from playing football. From losing in the fight drill to the same player repeatedly he learned to never give up, from getting bruises and cuts he learned that pain is necessary to succeed, and from practicing six days a week he learned that dedication and sacrifice were needed to get better. Football allowed Micah to think critically and make swift decisions while having fun. It taught him that throughout your career you will get knocked down, outplayed and beaten – but that’s also what makes him strive to get better every day so that he can become an unstoppable force. He looks forward to using these lessons as he heads to Salisbury University this fall to play football and major in computer science.
MSE Foundation is the official charity of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, NHL’s Washington Capitals and AFL’s Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade and focuses on five pillars including youth football and education and scholarship.