With his mother a Doctor in Education, it was only fitting for wide receiver Calvin Johnson to focus part of his charitable foundation on education.
In 2008, the Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation began awarding scholarships and book awards to six deserving student-athletes who play high school football. Each year, Johnson holds a gala to honor those recipients, alternating the event between Atlanta and Detroit.
"It's down in Atlanta this year," said Johnson, "so I know it's going to be tough for people up in the Detroit area to come."
For those fans who want to make the trip, tickets can be purchased at calvinjohnsonjrfoundation.org.
The event -- taking place at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center -- will begin with a silent auction featuring autographed items from Hall of Fame players, Johnson and his Lions' teammates.
"We actually may have some sightings from some big-time players in the league from now and the past," he said.
A business management major at Georgia Tech, Johnson will finish his degree when he has the opportunity (he entered the NFL Draft as a junior in 2007).
In the meantime, this scholarship program is a way for him to stress the importance of higher education to young people.
"(These kids) might play on the next level somewhere, but they've got to understand how important education is," said Johnson. "That's one thing that we are striving to push on those kids is how important it is to get those good grades. Especially in high school, that’s when it really counts.
"I'm hoping it strikes a chord with them."
If you want to attend the black tie affair on June 22, 2013 in Atlanta and/or support Calvin's Foundation efforts go to www.cjjrf.eventbrite.com