A college student’s journey in life begins with taking the first step of leaving home. Often times, they disconnect themselves from the city that raised them; to become the adults they are today. Few come back to make a difference, and Frank Byers Jr. happens to be apart of that small percentage.
About 30 minutes south of Downtown Dallas, you will find the city of Oak Cliff, Texas, where Frank Byers Jr. was born and raised. Here, Frank graduated from South Oak Cliff High School with honors such as becoming the Valedictorian, Class President, Chevy Student Athlete of the Year, and received the Gates Millennial Scholarship all for the year of 2015.
There after Frank Byers Jr., decided to play basketball for Texas A&M University, where he excelled in the NCAA by receiving the Dean’s List, SEC Honor Roll, and became a SEC Basketball Champion for the year of 2016.
When asked about why he decided to come back to his hometown Frank stated, “ I believe there are positive steps that can be taken to help out the community, and the first step is engaging more students.” Frank has in fact taken this first step within his Oak Cliff community, as he has engaged more students by creating a scholarship name Reach One at his Alma Mater, South Oak Cliff High School, to help alleviate the financial debt some minority students face early on within college.
“There is so much negativity within Oak Cliff, so I decided to come back to fix this problem”, stated Frank when asked about the condition of his hometown. “ To be able to go to school for free and to play basketball for Texas A&M is a blessing, cause not many kids make it out of the hood. We live in a very innovative generation, and there are so many opportunities in life.”
“It’s not easy, but it is attainable for anyone, especially for my people in Oak Cliff.”
We see through Frank’s journey, that it is not always about sports or how the world honors us, but its about using these opportunities that we receive to better ourselves, and using the knowledge from these situations to give back to our community. It’s encouraging to see a student like Frank Byers Jr., who has enough passion for his community to come back and make a difference. He truly shows that making it out of the hood is the first step to attaining freedom from the systematic oppression that Oak Cliff is surrounded by constantly.
“ Your mindset is so valuable, with so much negativity going on in Oak Cliff. If you stay positive through it all, and see the value in life, then you will see that all opportunities are attainable.”
– Frank Byers Jr.