Father’s Day is today, but for one central Georgia dad, sending one son off to college with academic scholarships backing him and preparing another for a future just as bright means more than any gift.
Our Marvin James shares why Kevin Goolsby says his past encouraged him to push his boys to attain academic excellence.
The 39-year-old has been raising his two teenage sons since they were just three and five-years-old trying to make them better prepared for life than he was.
“I thank God that he brought me through this as they were coming up and it didn't interfere with their lives as far as their school work,” said Goolsby.
Like his sons, Goolsby graduated from Southwest High School in 1996 but never went to college.
Instead, he worked jobs in fast food and retail while raising Kenzavious and Kenterious with the help of family.
Throughout the years, he stressed the importance of education over and over again, and his sons definitely paid attention.
In their home is a wall stacked with awards, while shelves of academic trophies line the living room.
The two teens have dabbled in every extracurricular activity from sports to chess club, but it’s in the classroom where the young men shine the most.
Kenzavious recently graduated from Southwest with a 3.8 GPA as a student athlete on the basketball and cross country teams, while winning several academic scholarships that will send him to Georgia Southern this fall.
He was ranked 6th in his graduating class of nearly 200 seniors and lives his life with a ‘no excuses’ attitude.
“Never give up, never stop fighting,” said Kenzavious. “At one point in time I was like, ‘What’s the point of school when you can just work your whole life and get paid,’ but I was like you're actually going to make way more money with that degree. Once you get your mind set and everything, can't nobody tell you nothing.”
Kenterious is always in competition with his older brother, and currently boasts a 4.0 GPA as a rising junior who also plays hoops and runs cross country for the Patriots, but he knows what's leading the way for his future.
“It’s important because I know I’m going to make it. In sports, I’m okay but I'm not that great, but I know my academics are going to help me make I,” said Kenterious.
Goolsby says it hasn't always been easy challenging his boys to excel academically, but his past motivated him to push academic excellence over everything else.
“I want them to be better than I was and live a better life than I did even though I finished high school I didn’t have the same support pushing me going to college,” said Goolsby.
He says he doesn't need a day to be thanked because having the opportunity to watch his boys grow and learn has been a humbling experience.
By the looks of their academic achievement, the fruits of his love and labor are paying off.
Kenzavious plans to study engineering while at Georgia Southern. His younger brother wants to be a math teacher and later coach basketball.