University of Findlay students Tyler Adkins and Devin Hatter were announced as Browns Edge Program scholarship winners on Friday.
Adkins is a freshman majoring in marketing and Hatter is a junior majoring in business management. Each will receive a $10,000 scholarship and be recognized at the Dec. 11 game in Cleveland.
Applicants were required to create a video about themselves that communicated how UF is putting them on the path to a meaningful life and productive career, and to fill out an application. Applicants were judged on communication, messaging, their personal statement, their “elevator pitch,” how they exemplify the Browns’ mantra “Play Like a Brown,” and their understanding of UF’s mission.
Hatter’s success story captured judges’ attention for its honesty and depiction of perseverance amidst setbacks. The Fostoria, Ohio native’s intention to attend UF was delayed when he became a parent just out of high school. While renovating a house and working at Sherwin-Williams to provide for his family, he earned an associate’s degree at a nearby community college. He then immediately applied to UF.
“There were times that I thought I wasn’t going to make it back onto the path, where I thought I was going to end up putting my dreams on hold for the rest of my life,” Hatter admitted in his video, which also features his 3-year-old son, Oakland.
When the scholarship news was announced in the office of President Katherine Fell, Ph.D., Hatter reflected on what led him to that point. He was a poor high school student, he admitted, a “troubled kid” who lacked ambition until two things happened – he participated in a class field trip to UF’s cadaver lab (watch a video about the lab here), and was sent to American Legion Buckeye Boys State, where he had the courage to reach out to a top student who showed him the ropes.
With graduation on the horizon, Hatter’s dream now is to work for a corporation in downtown Cleveland, a city that he says gives him “that feeling” of excitement, belonging and hope.
Adkins, from Mount Orab, Ohio, said UF has already changed him for the better, and is preparing him well to help others.
“I believe that in order to find a life full of meaning, you must look deep within yourself and discover your life purpose,” said Adkins in his video, which featured a play-by-play analogy for success on the field and off it. “I believe I was put here for a reason, and I believe my reason is to help high school and college-aged students find their life purpose and to make a positive impact on their world,” he explained.
Adkins has been inspired by his work this semester as a resident assistant, which requires him to oversee 52 students through good times and bad. He also serves as the class president, and is involved in several other clubs and organizations on campus. Additionally, he is a varsity diver for the men’s swimming and diving team, an adventure he never tried until becoming an Oiler.
“I’m excited,” Adkins said of his scholarship. “It’s definitely going to change my life.”
The Browns Edge Program is a partnership between UF and the Cleveland Browns, forged in 2015, that offers business and communication internship opportunities for students at the franchise’s corporate headquarters in Berea, Ohio; other educational programs on campus; and makes it possible for quality undergraduates to help the Browns further the franchise’s sports industry goals.