Jawon Denton and the team of Community

Jawon seems to be one who has always known his destiny. Many investments of time, hard work and resources have culminated in a full-ride scholarship to Northern Illinois University. Jawon will be joining the football team this summer and enroll the following fall. He recognizes his destiny has been impacted by his mother, leaders and the community at Sunshine. Jawon first came to Sunshine as a part of the 6th-grade basketball team. A year later, he met “Coach” Donnell Williams. Donnell is a vital part of our youth team, who helps run the middle and high school programs. Jawon points out that his mother and Donnell were instrumental in keeping him off the streets and on the right path.

Since 6th grade, Jawon knew he wanted to play football and kept it in his mind as a tangible goal. He started off playing many offensive positions but soon moved to defense where he was a natural fit at defensive end. “Coach” remembers his first interactions with Jawon. He made it known early on that he wanted to play football at a high level. This was a dream he thought about and told anyone who would listen. When asked how he was able to focus, Jawon cites Sunshine programs as a place where he could come, belong and stay out of trouble.

Jawon has dominated from the first time he stepped on the field. He remembers he was always more advanced physically. His path at Morgan Park High school began with Jawon starting as a freshman, where Northern Illinois University took an early interest, sending scouts to check out his games. The school (NIU) began to feel like family. Jawon remembers vividly the day he was called into the coach’s office at Morgan Park during his junior year. The head coach of NIU offered him a full-ride scholarship to play football. He has been excited ever since and is grateful for the role his mother and Sunshine leaders have played. A team of many in this concerned community has helped Jawon keep his dream on track.