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Jacksonville mom, NFL player team up to offer sports and scholarships to underserved communities

Tonya Love is partnering with LaTarence Dunbar to give out 500 scholarships to children by the end of the year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Since her son Prosper Johnson died in a shooting in 2014, Jacksonville's Tonya Love has been trying to find ways to keep other kids and families from experiencing similar heartbreak.

She's hoping to break the cycle of violence she says has become all too familiar.  "Kids need an outlet. They need somewhere to play," she said.

 She believes that outlet is on the playing field.

She's teaming up with former NFL player LaTarence Dunbar to bring sports and scholarships to underserved communities.

"My vision would be to not turn on the TV and not see another shooting. My vision would be for you guys to actually film kids practicing, playing football," Love explained.

It's not just football.  Dunbar's non-profit is a league made up of dozens of sports and an academy that is handing out 500 scholarships and grants to families, including on the First Coast.

"We want to have an immediate impact. A lot of people probably will not receive a Christmas gift but this is a gift that keeps on giving," Dunbar told First Coast News.

Love believes if her son had the opportunity to continue playing sports, he may not have been killed. 

She doesn't want finances to limit decisions for families and wishes Dunbar's desire to lend a helping hand will be the perfect match to score a victory against violence.

"A lot of parents might be prideful or whatever. But, it's like the children are reaching out to me and saying, 'This is what we need Ms. Tonya,'" she said.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, click here.  You will be asked for the name of a non-profit. In order to register within the First Coast, you will need to enter, 'No Weapon Shall Prosper.'  

The deadline to apply is December 31. 


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