Gerald Williams, 18, recently graduated from Castlemont High School in oakland. Thursday, he was given a scholarship from the Fam 1st Family Foundation, led by Oakland cousins Marshawn Lynch, a running back for the Seattle Seahawks, and Josh Johnson, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
The reward is for persevering.
"Being able to go through trials and tribulations of living in Oakland, being a young, black male, and just being able to stay on top of my game, finish high school, finish with a cumulative GPA of 3.5," Williams said.
Williams stayed on his game even after being shot last year in downtown Oakland at 14th and Broadway. He still has a scar on his arm.
His dad was the first to get to the hospital and couldn't be prouder that his son is now off to San Diego State University.
"In the hospital he was like, 'You told me this type of stuff could happen and I'm really fit to focus on school," Gerald Williams Sr. said.
Williams had help from Youth Alive's Caught in the Crossfire program.
"At Youth Alive, we work with victims of violent crime and we receive referrals from Highland Hospital and Mount Eden trauma centers," Youth Alive spokesperson Roderick Herbert said.
So they received his case and made sure Williams kept up on his studies.
Now, with this scholarship and several grants, all Williams has to focus on is getting his Masters in business and playing football at San Diego State.
Williams doesn't have a whole lot of time before he has to get back into school mode, he heads down to San Diego State for orientation August 3.