Friends of former One Hope United employee DeColbie Esco recently honored him by donating a large portion of the proceeds from a charity golf outing to OHU in his memory.
DeColbie, who was killed at age 30 in a hit-and-run car accident last summer, served as a role model to many people.
“It was so surprising the impact he had on me,” said Amanda Siegrist, DeColbie’s college classmate. “It was very humbling and inspiring to hear the struggles he had grown up with.”
DeColbie was raised in a rough neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. At 14, he was caught selling drugs by an undercover police officer. His mother knew she had to take action to help DeColbie. She encouraged him to work with teachers to improve his grades, and he started playing football.
Sports proved to be an important outlet for DeColbie. Upon graduating high school, he received a scholarship to play football at Wingate University in North Carolina. For his senior project in college, he and his classmate, Amanda, wrote about how football influenced him to change his life.
“He didnt have a chip on his shoulder about the world. He just went about his life and did the best he could with what he had,” Amanda said. “A big part of his making a change was he just needed people in his life to give him support,” she added.
When DeColbie graduated college and moved back to the Chicago neighborhood where he grew up, he wanted to be that source of support for other children in his community who were struggling to make a change. He began working for an OHU child development center in an after-school care program.
Amanda and a few other Wingate alumni and professors held their first golf outing in May and chose to celebrate DeColbie’s efforts in supporting at-risk children by donating some of the proceeds to OHU.