SNU Masma 250 

Southern Nazarene University freshman Jeremie Allen is an inspiring testament to the power of sport in a young student’s life. The former U.S. Grant High School football player, attending SNU on academic scholarship, is now a member of the SNU football team, playing the position of linebacker. His path from USG to SNU is a story worth celebrating.

“Most everything I learned in high school is used daily for football. The one thing I can say I carried over for sure is self-motivation,” said Allen.

A troubled youth in middle school, Allen made a personal decision to “be a better kid” after an in-school incident, followed by a tough conversation with his head football coach (and school resource officer) who told him, “Son, there’s something you need to understand. Adults don’t get suspension. A suspension here means jail or prison time in the real world.” That was the wake-up call that tipped the scales for Allen. He quickly grew to understand the life lessons taught through football would be his saving grace.

“I quickly found out academics played a huge role in things and that made sports more meaningful because you had to compete in the classroom before you could compete on the field," said Allen. “Growing up in a rough neighborhood, sports was the only way to make it out.”

When returning to eighth grade the fall after his last major in-school incident, Allen saw the investment Fields & Futures had made to restore the athletic fields at Jefferson Middle School and said “It affected me emotionally.” 

Turning his life around and focusing on grades gave him the clarity to see a future in college and beyond, and Fields & Futures gave him a platform to share his inspiring story. 

Says Fields & Futures co-founder Tim McLaughlin, “We love Jeremie. We love his grit and determination, his commitment to family and community, and we especially love the future he is creating for himself. To graduate high school with a cumulative 4.1 GPA and attend college on scholarship is all anyone needs to know to understand Jeremie’s desire to win in life. We will be cheering him on every step of the way.”

Today, Allen is working towards a degree in nursing, to eventually become a nurse practitioner.

“When other struggling kids see or hear my story, I hope they understand I was once in their shoes and that anything in life is achievable if you work hard enough,” said Allen. “If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to create great habits. Do your schoolwork, study often and stay on top of your grades.”

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