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Hornets On the Rise
Dewey Cotton III

It was 7:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and Dewey was not where he was supposed to be. Dewey Cotton III was outside his home consoling his nine siblings and talking with emergency personnel who had responded to a 911 call from his home.   

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Rainbow After the Rain

On that Tuesday, he should have been taking his final exam that would allow him to satisfy the grade requirement to earn his scholarship.

I missed that final exam. I had to make sure my siblings were okay, said Cotton who is one of 10 children in his family. I didn’t know how else I was going to go to college. My parents couldn’t pay for college. It was scholarship or bust.

Cotton had a coach who believed in him and convinced him that he could better protect his siblings by acting as a role model for them. He enrolled in summer school and retook the final, securing his scholarship.

Although Cotton had offers to play football at colleges throughout the country, he chose Sac State because it allowed him to be close to his family in Stockton. When I signed my letter of intent to Sac State, I cried. I’ll never forget that moment, he said. You know how they say the rainbow comes after the rain. All I went through in high school, well, that was my rain. The scholarship is my rainbow.

Since being on campus, he’s been overjoyed to find his family has grown to now include a community of Hornets. Originally, when I was thinking about colleges, Sac State was a bit of an afterthought. Now it’s the only thought. Now it’s my home, he said. My mentors at Sac State, coaches, professors, other students, they all have given me so much. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Revived with a new sense of confidence and drive thanks to his Sac State community, Cotton is pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology, and playing wide receiver and punt returner for the Sac State Hornets football team. He is on track to graduate in 2021. My degree means opportunity. That’s all I see in front of me, Cotton said.

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