MANVEL, TX (KTRK) --With the help of his high school coach and educational guardianship, a Manvel High School student is set to achieve what was once unthinkable.
London Harris signed a full athletic scholarship with Texas State University. He thanks his football coach and father figure, Kirk Martin, for taking him in and giving him a chance.
Since elementary school, Harris and Martin have been neighbors. After family hardships, Harris was allowed to move in with the Martin family full-time while his mother continued to work.
"My heart was really soft towards this kiddo. I saw a need and decided to step up and be a solution," Martin said in a release. "My wife and I talked about it, then prayed about it, and decided to welcome him into our home."
Martin and his wife, Karen, worked with Harris to enhance his reading and writing skills. While increasing his grades, Harris says he learned valuable lessons on the football field.
"Coach Martin taught me the importance of a strong work ethic. He's always told me that I have to have a great work ethic to succeed in life," Harris said in a statement. "My whole four years of high school I have worked hard, and now it's paying off."
In June, Harris will report to Texas State with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.
"My goal in life is to work so hard that my mom won't have to," he said.
Harris says he hopes to leave the message that you have to work hard for everything you want in life.
"I was told that I wasn't ever going to be good enough. Coach Martin taught me how to work at it and how to succeed in life, and I thank him for that," he added.