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Monday, July 15, 2024

Homeless boy who worked to sponsor himself while studying finally wins football scholarship to university

Homeless boy, Demaurez Bellamy who worked to sponsor himself while studying has finally won a football scholarship to study for his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida, United States.

Bellamy graduated from DeLand High School, Florida in the United States with honors. He told News Journal that he dreams of a time when he can guarantee financial security for future generations in his family as he did not want any of his loved ones to struggle.

“It’s bigger than myself. I can’t really think about myself. If I make it, it’s generation money, stability and having a real foundation,” he said.

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He stated that throughout his high school, he faced so many challenges, especially being homeless. Bellamy said he attended three different schools, his living arrangements shuffling on a sometimes weekly basis while he bounced between homes of parents, relatives, coaches, teachers, and friends.

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Bellamy mentioned that on some occasions, he had nowhere to stay at all he would sleep outside on a bench or a lounge chair at the pool deck of a nearby apartment complex.

He said he shared his story publicly for the first time at a gathering of principals and administrators and people who he believes have the power to shape lives and support kids like himself in need.

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He stated that it was the DeLand High Principal, Melissa Carr who urged him to take the stage. Melissa said she was asked by the event’s organizers if she had any student leaders who had overcome struggle and mmediately, Bellamy’s name popped into her head.




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“He told me a lot of personal things that broke my heart. But I knew that his story needed to be told, and I helped him cultivate his story so he could share it,” Melissa said.

“There are more students than I’d like to count or even say who struggle with homelessness or unstable home lives. He’s one of those few who really will work tirelessly to succeed. It’s something that you can’t really define. He’s going to be something in life, and he’s already someone we’re very proud of,” she added.

He mentioned that his relationship with his parents has been a “work in progress” for several years but they are presently on good terms. He said at various times during his high school years he lived in Daytown with his father in DeLand with his mother.

While living with his father, Bellamy said he first played for Mainland High School, seeing action at running back as a freshman during the 2015 season but he never felt a connection with the Daytona-area kids and got into several issues that year.

Bellamy said those troubles led him to transfer to Sebastian River High School for his sophomore year, shuffling between a teacher’s house and an apartment he shared with his teammates. To help cover the rent, he got a job bagging groceries and stocking shelves.

After his roommates graduated, Bellamy returned to Mainland for his junior year. Following a falling out with his father, he found himself constantly moving, staying in at least eight different places over six months, sometimes in up to four locations in a single week.

On some nights, he had nowhere to go, resorting to sleeping on a lounge chair by a pool or a bench in front of Mainland’s gymnasium. Bellamy recalled crying just about the entire night, hardly able to shut his eyes as cars sped by on International Speedway Boulevard.

For his senior year, he moved back to DeLand High School, where he had grown up. Bellamy credits DeLand football coach Steve Allen with helping him achieve his potential.

“Coach Allen is one of the realest dudes I’ve ever met in my life,” Bellamy said. “When I came in, he told me, ‘If you want to grow, we’re going to grow. I’m with you.’ He took me under his arms. He treated me like a human, not a football player. We have a relationship outside the football field,” he said.

He said the college football recruiting has helped him find a home. At the University of South Florida, he will have a schedule of workouts and practices, classes, and homework.

Bellamy said more importantly, he will have a dorm room and a place to rest his head each night. “When I get to USF, this is going to be the first bed I’ve had in three years,” he said.


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