Each year, the Cleveland Browns recognize the memory of the late Marion Motley, the former fullback who is one of the team’s 16 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, by presenting two scholarships that bear his name to students in the greater Cleveland community as they pursue the dream of a college education.
Prior to the start of Sunday’s game, the Browns awarded four-year renewable scholarships in the amount of $10,000 to Saja Abid from the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Steve Saed of Lakewood High School.
“Marion Motley made such an amazing impact in the game of football, but it’s also amazing to see the lessons we learned from him can be applied to many of the applicants in the obstacles and challenges they face today” said Renee Harvey, vice president of community outreach for the Browns. “Some of the obstacles, barriers and similar fights that he faced are the same ones that you can relate to the scholarship recipients.
“The pool of applicants this year has been absolutely outstanding. We’re amazed. It’s very difficult for us to select just two recipients. Steve and Saja both embody and embrace every quality that you would want to see in a scholarship recipient and we’re very proud to give them both scholarships in Marion Motley’s name.”
Abid carries a 3.7905 grade point average and has served as a clerk shadow college research assistant in the cardiovascular department at Case Western Reserve University. She has studied the effects of the protein Brd4 on hypertrophy on the heart.
Currently the vice president of the Health Professional Pipeline Program at the School of Science and Medicine, Abid says the scholarship will go a long way to pay for her college education, which she hopes will lead to a career as a pediatrician.
“This is a great opportunity for me to go to college because without it, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” Abid said. “I’m going to major in biology and then, go pre-med so I can go to medical school.
“It is very exciting and I’m so appreciative that I got picked out of so many that applied. I kind of screamed when my mom told me. I started jumping up and down.”
After going through four years of education at Lakewood High School, Saed is looking for a “fresh endeavor” where he can broaden his horizons. Through his education, Saed is working to become a financial analyst where he wants to help people assess the market and make smart investments.
“It means so much, especially with my family’s economic distress in these hard times,” said Saed, who has committed volunteer hours at Habitat for Humanity and Lakewood Hospital. “It just makes it easier for our family to cope with it, especially with the next stage of my life, college, being called into question. It just helps so much and I’m so grateful for the Cleveland Browns.“The scholarship really opens the door for colleges because I believe I am capable of getting to a higher-tier college. With this scholarship, I’ll be able to afford it. I have applied to the University of Notre Dame, the University of Miami and the University of Pennsylvania. That’s what I’m aiming for. I’m hoping for the best.”