In school and on the baseball field Centennial High School senior Edward Macon is aiming for the bleachers.
Although the college-bound Apaches shortstop and centerfielder has athletic talent, earning a degree in business with a minor in economics is his top priority.
So far Edward, who previously attended King Elementary and Willowbrook Middle School, has been offered an academic scholarship to Alabama A&M University and an athletic scholarship to California Miramar University.
He has also been accepted to CSUN and has earned over $10,000 in additional scholarships.
“I never thought I’d see myself in this position,” he said. “Most kids here want to grow up to be a basketball or baseball player, but I think to myself that anything can stop my pro sports career. That’s why I focus on my education. If my talent is enough to get me to the next level, so be it, but school comes first.”
It’s an incredibly fortunate turn for Edward, who lost his father when he was 12 years old and was briefly homeless with his mother Mary Jackson before his varsity baseball coach Gerald Pickens took him in. He has now been living with him for over three years.
“He’s been a big father figure for me. He makes sure I’m doing well, that I’m going to school, and practicing,” he noted. “There are many life lessons he’s taught me that I know I’ll carry with me in college and as a professional.”
Edward now looks forward to beginning a new chapter in his life that will lead to college degree and a chance to play NCAA baseball. However, one of his greatest aspirations is to return to Compton and make a positive impact in students’ lives.
“I want to come back to start a nonprofit to guide students in the right direction. I know the struggle of not growing up in a two-parent home. I just want to help more of our kids get educated and get jobs because I could’ve easily got caught up in a gang, going to jail, or getting killed.”
“Fortunately, I had the strong support of my mom, my teachers, my counselors, and my coach. They all made sure I worked hard in school so I can get a college education.”
Edward’s goal of one day giving back to Compton also stems from his strong belief in the city’s legacy of producing numerous success stories.
“Compton is tremendously misrepresented. We have very educated people in our city. People from outside are blind to everything else about us except for the bad things that happen here. We have so many talented and smart people,” he said.
Aside from one day contributing to Compton’s legacy of producing successful individuals, Edward said he ultimately wants to make his mother proud.
“She has always been there no matter what situation. I wouldn’t have done as well in school without her always staying on top of my grades and telling me I need to get to college,” he said.
“Just growing up and seeing her struggle, but now seeing her smile knowing she has a son who will be successful is really big. I’m doing this all for her. I just want to see my mother happy. By doing that I’ll feel I have accomplished so much already.”