Twenty-year-old footballer Jaheil Cole has set up a GoFundMe account to source US$15,000 for his freshman year at the Sussex County Community College in New Jersey.
Cole will be studying exercise science and kinesiology while playing for the college football team.
He needs to acquire these funds by or before August 2 to ensure he takes part in the squad’s pre-season training and competition. These finances will go towards his tuition and housing for the first year, which gets under way in September.
Cole said the community college does not offer athletic scholarships, but allows student/athletes to qualify for in-state tuition. Although he was accepted by another American college, the youngster chose Sussex County on the basis of positive reviews from a recent TT student graduate.
Cole played schools football with Belmont Intermediate up until 2018, and then transferred to Tranquillity Secondary to sit the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam.
He was also selected to play for Defence Force, but has not been able to represent the team since the pandemic hit in mid-March last year.
Cole is the eldest of eight siblings and wants his move to the US to be an inspiration for his younger brothers and sisters.
Before the recent covid19 restrictions which ban the public sale of food, Cole and his family held small events to gather money towards his cause. Since the restrictions came into effect a few weeks ago, raising funds this way is now illegal.
“I have to go across by August 2 because that’s when pre-season starts. My main plan is to do well in the pre-season and when school starts, I’ll have to hit the books. I really want to pave a way for my siblings,” he said.
As an athlete, over the years, Cole has always been fascinated with recovery from injury – hence his decision to study exercise science and kinesiology.
He added, “I have gotten minor injuries over the years. But I was always a person to go and research why and what causes my body to hurt and what I could do about it. I’m really interested in physiotherapy. Right now, it’s like a self-motivation.”
Recently, Sussex County coach Frank Vernachio wrote highly of Cole on the college’s website.
“I have enjoyed my conversations with Jeheil and could tell that he is both excited and grateful for this next step. He is a talented player who will certainly add to the quality of this 2021 class.
“He has the ability to hold up or get in behind a defence. He is versatile in his play and I am thrilled to have him joining our programme.”
Those who wish to contribute to Cole’s US$15,000 target can do so at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-aid-of-college-dream?utm_campaign=p_nacp+sharesheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer.