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Cincinnati Bengals safety, Shawn Williams starts fundraiser to purchase Chromebooks for Early County High School students

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 2:44 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

You might recognize the name Shawn Williams and think NFL player but what you probably don’t know is he’s an Early County alumni. Williams is giving back to his alma mater in a way that will give every student a chance to receive an education.

The Early County School System is one of many that is changing the way their classroom will look come fall. Rather than face to face, students will be learning through the screens of their computer, a challenge Shawn Williams knows first-hand.

“During this time we couldn’t do any on field activities so everything we had to do we did it virtual and that was kind of a challenge. So I was just kind of thinking, man if it’s hard for us now just imagine how hard it would be for teenagers or whoever just going back to school and trying to learn and get an education,” Shawn Williams, safety for Cincinnati Bengals said.

Without access to some type of internet device, getting an education can be impossible during these times. So Williams, an Early County alumni wanted to give back to his community to help every student succeed>

“We know that most of these kids are going to do remote learning again, what’s the best way that we can help them accomplish remote learning and Jennifer mentioned having access to at home devices was crucial for a lot of these students that don’t have that access,” Olivia Green, director of client services - Select Sports Group said.

With the help from non-profits like Community and Blakely founded, Think About It! Williams started a go fund me, where all of the donations will go towards purchasing Chromebooks for Early County High School students.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re 9th grade or 12th grade that Chromebook can last them through college. It’s making an impact on their life not just on their school for this year,” Jennifer Brown, assistant superintendent for Early County Schools said.

A star football player at Early County, University of Georgia and now the Cincinnati Bengals, Williams knows what it’s like to be put in these students shoes and why he wants to help.

“Growing up and not having access to a lot and knowing that my parents work and sacrifice just to make ends meat and I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had to deal with something like this when I was in high school. There was no way that we could afford internet and devices so for me it makes me feel good that I can kind of give back and help someone in need,” Williams said.

Williams himself has donated fifty thousand dollars towards the Chromebooks, with the ultimate goal of raising one hundred thousand dollars.

Students and families of Early County were able to fill out an application to apply for a Chromebook and those who receive one will get to keep it.

Williams is a 2009 graduate of Early County High School where his jersey number 7 was retired.

For more information on how you can donate visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chromebooks-for-early-county-high/

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