Honorees

Faith in Action Recipient Deshaun Watson

As one of the NFL's star quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson flourishes on the field for the Houston Texans -- but he still finds time to give back to his community through the Deshaun Watson Foundation. Born in Gainesville, GA, and raised by a single mother of four, Watson was no stranger to overcoming adversity. The strong foundation laid by his mother would shape the trajectory of his life and career. Even with a house full of children, Watson watched his mother spend countless hours volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Her hard work paid off when Habitat for Humanity, in collaboration with NFL quarterback Warrick Dunn's foundation, awarded the family a home of their own.

 

Despite this blessing, difficulties still lay ahead. During Watson's sophomore year of high school, his mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer and spent eight months in Atlanta receiving treatment. Where most would break, this pivotal moment caused Watson to work harder to excel in both his education and in football. While working four jobs to provide for his brothers and sisters, Watson graduated a semester early and secured a full football scholarship to Clemson University. Shortly after, his mother overcame her battle with cancer and was a pilar of support during his career at Clemson.

 

In 2016, Watson led the university to a national championship; and within three years, he graduated Clemson early to become a first-round draft pick by the Houston Texans. In 2019, he established the Deshaun Watson Foundation, which is dedicated to providing education, health and housing to families and youth in underserved communities. His foundation has been a staple in Houston, providing families with electricity and groceries during the holidays, and donating computers to local schools to assist in virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout Watson's journey, his spirit of giving back to those in need has never wavered.