There is no better feeling than when a chain of events is set off and the actions result in positive, and often life-altering, changes.
Just ask Heights High School senior Davion Zeno, whose post-high-school existence became crystal clear in a rather quick succession of occurrences.
Zeno had dreams of playing college football ever since he started playing in his neighborhood as a kid. This year, the idea became more concrete, as he had received offers from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Earlham College in Indiana and had drawn interest from the likes of Princeton University and Houston Baptist University.
While he was grateful for the buzz that he was garnering, he wasn’t quite ready to commit just yet.
And then something happened.
In late January, Zeno was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Virginia from an institution called the Posse Foundation, which has a branch in Houston.
“Posse is an organization that is partnered up with multiple colleges around the country,” Zeno said. “Posse helps colleges find high school seniors who are leaders, involved in the community and in multiple clubs and organizations.”
With tuition covered, Zeno figured that he could get the rest paid for through additional scholarships and financial aid, but he was still a bit uncertain since the choice to head to Virginia would leave his football future unanswered, at least for the moment.
A few weeks later, it happened again.
Zeno was presented with a preferred walk-on spot to play Division-I football at Virginia, and while that doesn’t grant him any scholarship money through athletics, it’ll at least guarantee him a spot on the roster next season.
As everything started to line up, he made the decision to head to Charlottesville, Virginia this fall.
“I felt that it was the perfect fit for me,” he said. “The program is getting on their feet, and the education is great.”
He said the decision was also appealing because UVA is an ideal size university – not too small, not too big.
Zeno lines up on offense as a receiver but said he is willing to play whatever position he can to ensure that the Cavaliers have the best chance of winning.
As he prepares for the continuation of his playing career, Zeno is wise beyond his years and knows that his football journey will come to an end at some point, which is why an education is extremely important to him.
Although he hasn’t made up his mind, he plans to major in either environmental engineering or in pre-pharmacy.
Whatever he decides to do, Zeno credits his mother as his inspiration.
“She has instilled in me the importance of determination and focus to achieve what you want,” he said.
He has put her lessons to work and can now say that through his persistence and grit, he has made his vision a reality.
“Amazing,” Zeno said emphatically of how it feels to be able to continue to play football and go to college. “To see my dreams coming true is a feeling I cannot describe.”