Living his mother’s legacy


Vericia Pearson

After playing football in sixth and seventh grade, senior Shawn Morgan made the tough decision to quit his eighth grade year.

“I stopped at the beginning of the season because my mom passed away of pancreatic cancer,” Morgan said. “I guess I decided I needed to think and live and kind of just gave up football at that point.”

Morgan’s mom was the main supporter of his football career, and encouraged him to make friends through his activities.

“In grade school I was a Cub Scout and that was how I made friends, and then the rest of the friends that I have today I know through football, so I’m glad she pushed me to play,” Morgan said.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Morgan’s mom majored in mathematics.

“She had big dreams and planned on going places but her life started going down the wrong path, and she started doing drugs and drinking and was getting involved in gangs in the neighborhood,” Morgan said.

Morgan’s mom did not stay on this path once she had kids, and she was still able to share the lessons she had learned.

I’m so lucky to have a mother like her telling me to push through, and that life always goes on.”

— Shawn Morgan

“She wanted us to get to do things that she didn’t get to do, she wanted us to learn from her mistakes because she didn’t want her children to make the same ones,” Morgan said.

Reflecting on these lessons, Morgan describes what he took away, and what he values in his mom.

“The thing I loved the most was that even through all of her mistakes she had her kids and she realized I can’t let them make the same mistakes as me,” Morgan said. “Even when we were raised in the ghetto, where the average kid grows up not thinking they can go places and they’re going to stay there forever, my mom said if you work hard and you actually try in school you can go anywhere in the world.”

Although Morgan quit playing football, he still plans to keep moving forward in academics and his other hobbies.

“The way I think and react to things is because of her,” Morgan said. “I could just think that I’m not going places, but I want to go places and I want to do things, I’m so lucky to have a mother like her telling me to push through and that life always goes on.”