Sunday, June 23, 2024

Kevin Durant Surprises Bay Area Students With First Year of College Tuition

*Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant surprised four kids he mentored from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula in Menlo Park, California, by announcing his payment of their freshman college tuition.

Alysia Demery, a senior at East Palo Alto Academy, was chosen Feb. 7 as Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula by a panel of judges that included Durant.

Demery, along with Redwood City seniors Joselin Quinteros, Dezmond “Dez” Frazier and Magali Pineda, competed for the honor by giving speeches and being interviewed by judges at the East Palo Alto clubhouse. The other judges were Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Jim Shelton, journalist/educator Esther Wojcicki and Durant Co. partner Rich Kleinman.

The four finalists, all of whom have struggled with homelessness and are the first in their families to go to college, received a pleasant surprise when Durant announced at the event his foundation will pay the first year of college tuition for them.

“I fell on the ground just knowing somebody believes in you enough to literally invest in you,” Demery told ESPN.

“It is an absolute dream come true,” Frazier said of his gift. “I used to think I could only do it (go to college) through sports, and then I found my true passion of public service and politics.”

“I grew up in a similar situation,” Durant explained. “Here are four kids who have been through so much already in their short lives, to get up the next day and keep pushing, keeping trucking, I was very proud just to get to meet them.”

Recipient Joselin Quinteros, who would wake up at 5:00 a.m. each day to help her housekeeper mother before heading off to school, shared the significance of KD’s tuition gift.

“I remember the big houses my mom used to clean. They were so big. I wanted all of that, and I still kind of do,” Quinteros said. “I think for me, I’ll know I’ve succeeded in life when I am able to give my mom her keys to a new home. Since I’ve been a kid, that’s always been my goal because my mom has never been stable.”

Durant said he could relate.

“I remember getting on public transportation and having to go to the nicer area in Washington D.C., and seeing something so quiet and peaceful. I wanted that for myself and my family, so I understand what that’s like for her.”

Watch ESPN’s report of KD’s surprise below:

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