FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A West Florence High School baseball player started a scholarship foundation for high school athletes.
Senior at West Florence High School, Ryan Florio, helped victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas last year, by sending hundreds of sports equipment items to people affected by the aftermath of the hurricane.
Florio said he started the K24 Foundation one week after Hurricane Irma hit. He said he wanted to start a foundation to help high school athletes achieve their dreams.
“The foundation is raising two, one-thousand dollar scholarships for a female athlete and a male athlete at West Florence,” he explained. “You have to write an essay on why you think you deserve it, good character, what you do in the community, and how you inspire other people.”
He said he has received 20 applications since he’s started the foundation, and will close the application on May 1.
Florio said the name K24 comes from his jersey number, and the letter ‘K’ represents a strikeout in baseball.
“For every strikeout I get this year, I’m donating 10 dollars to the foundation, and we’re having businesses match,” he said. “If we get thirty strikeouts this year, I’ll donate three-hundred dollars, and the businesses will match, and with that money we’ll donate to other foundations, and try to help out underprivileged kids, but also the scholarships as well.”
He said he currently has the support of five local businesses, but hopes to have more sponsors by the end of the year.
Florio said K24 Foundation was inspired by his personal story of overcoming obstacles.
“Over the four year recruiting process from freshman to senior year, I went to seventy-two different camps and schools, and they either said I didn’t throw hard enough, or I wasn’t big enough, or they found something wrong,” he said. “The seventy-third school offered me a scholarship, and it really showed they were willing to take a chance on me.”
He said his foundation is based on three words.
“Believe in yourself,” Florio said. “Be yourself and believe in yourself. So many kids are afraid to take chances because they think people are going to judge them or they just don’t think they can do it, and you just have to take that leap,” he continued. “Just jump and see where it takes you.”
Florio said one of his goals is to inspire people beyond Florence.
“I’m just a kid from Florence, South Carolina that just jumped and it’s taking me to a lot of places, so I’m very thankful for that,” he said. “You’ve got to fail a lot. You’ve got to be willing to fail, and once you’re willing to fail, and understand failure, that’s when you’ll be successful.”
Sophomore at West Florence High School, Noah Skeen, said Florio has motivated him to help people in his community.
“He’s inspired me a lot, and I really look up to him,” Skeen said. “He teaches me to stay strong, and believe in myself, and to always do the right thing.”
Skeen said his family helps Florio design K24 Foundation apparel for people to purchase and support the foundation.
Florio said he sends apparel to professional athletes and has received responses from professional baseball player, Chris Singleton, and NHL Coach, Bob Woods.
“When I was younger it used to be all about baseball, but now I see I can impact as many kids as I can,” Florio said. “Seeing people do something when they got told no, it makes me realize that I can do it, and that gives me the chance to go tell thousands of kids they can do it too.”
If you would like to apply for a K24 Foundation scholarship, email K24foundation@aol.com
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