There are many success stories when one looks at the DJ Henry Dream Fund’s work. But the Henrys immediately agree on a recent one that’s been rather satisfying.
“We have one that’s heading off to college soon who’s come to share his story with us, and it’s so powerful and so beautiful. He’s one of our most favorite recipients,” Angella Henry says of Quincy Pickett, a senior at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Mass.
Danroy Henry Sr. says, “He’s getting recruited by D-I programs to play football. And we helped him find a way to play football when his mom was in physical crisis and couldn’t pay.”
Angella adds, “He was the guest speaker at our fundraiser in April and he just blew the doors off of that.”
Pickett does not mince words when asked about his involvement with the Fund. “Honestly, the DJ Henry Dream Fund changed my life, because that is when I really fell in love with football,” he says. “Football basically changed the direction in how I lived my life, my focus, and what I needed to do to play football at a high level in the future. So that meant going to a great school, focusing on my grades, and doing things for the community.”
He also loved his opportunity to speak at the most recent gala in April. “That was my second time speaking at the gala. I spoke almost 10 years ago,” Pickett says. “This time it was different because the meaning of it all was clearer now that I am older. For one, I was honored for them to reach out to me. Second, I was excited to show my growth as a speaker and as a leader. And third, I really wanted to make the Henrys proud. I honestly enjoy watching the young kids in attendance and how excited they were to be there. It reminded me of when my sister and I, along with my mother, would attend. One year, Gov. Charlie Baker handed a handful of kids $20, and that was the highlight of our night! It also is awesome for young people to be exposed to the gala and everyone there so that they can see that anything is possible. You know, growing up in the inner city, some kids never experience something like that.”
As Dan noted, Pickett is a D-I recruit as a lineman. What’s that process been like? “It’s been super stressful!” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot of looks from many prestigious schools but nothing solid yet. I’ve been communicating with Holy Cross, Boston College, Brown University, Columbia University, Stonehill, Georgetown, and Bryant University, to name a few. My goal, like I said when I was 10, is to play in the NFL. It’s a lot of work that comes with getting there, and one thing that I have learned throughout this process is patience. That is key.”
Where would he like to end up if he had his choice? “It would be crazy if I had the opportunity to play for BC or Holy Cross,” Pickett says. “Those are my top two schools that I’d love to play at, as well as further my education.”