Human billboard offered college scholarship on the street

Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:56 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A Kentucky man working as a living billboard said his life changed when a Martin Luther King Day passerby offered him a full-ride college scholarship.

Montez Jones, 29, said he was dancing both to keep warm and advertise the Colbert Ball Tax Service on a Louisville street corner Monday when a passerby stopped to talk to him, WDRB-TV, Louisville, Ky., reported Wednesday.

"A black car just pulled up, and he said, 'Do you know who I am, young man?'" Jones said. "I said, 'No sir!'"

The man identified himself as the Rev. Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen's Church and president of Simmons College.

Cosby offered Simmons a $20,000 full-ride scholarship to the school. He said he decided to stop and talk to Jones when he saw the man acting as a "human billboard, gyrating. I mean, totally depersonalized."

Cosby said wants to "show [Jones] what confidence, hard work, discipline and being around the right environment can do for a person and if he can do it he becomes my example that anyone can be successful."

Jones said he sees the opportunity as a second chance.

"My dream was, I always wanted to be a doctor, but once I grew up and started living in these streets, I got arrested," Jones said. "And with my background, it was over. My dreams were crushed."

"It's like me being a newborn -- start my life all over again, fresh," Jones said. "Hopefully it will be a good start for me. I'm going to take it. I'm going to take it and run with it though. I ain't going to let him down."

Cosby, whose school will be fully accredited by the U.S. Department of Education next year, said he hopes his actions inspire other churches to invest in the west end of Louisville.

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