There are so many obstacles and so many achievements that Muddy has lived that I have chosen to summarize (below) from a well written article, by Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily New, September 28, 2014, Muddy’s Future is Clear.
(Muddy said) ….“I remember just looking at my father and I was crying and calling his name, but he was slumped over the wheel and didn’t move, but I remember it was like it was yesterday….When you see somebody get murdered, it just ain’t gonna go away overnight.”
…Not only had Dayomine “Muddy” Owens ‘ father been in an out of prison,…but his mother would go to federal prison for tax fraud. Just in the past year, Muddy has had times where he’s lived with her and his younger brother in the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter.
…In spite of all these heartaches and disruptions Muddy is a near straight-A student, amassing several hours of college credit. A three year starter on the Cougar’s offensive line, …manager of the basketball team, … and assists the wrestling squad.
…During the summers he attends college prep … [I]n school [he] is a mediator, problem solver. [H]e is a hands-on mentor to his younger brother. …Goins (his principal) said, “Muddy embodies that age-old adage ‘it takes a village, So many people are vested in him becoming successful.” This week he is touring colleges with the Upward Bound program.
… It’s been 11 months since Muddy’s mom got home from prison. In a federal re-entry program, she’s going to college, working a full-time job, and drawing inspiration from her son.
…. Savage, the officer who had discovered the murdered father and Muddy in the car, took him under her wing till finally his grandmother was reunited with Muddy this year. “Here I am a police officer and he just came and hugged me. He’s so polite, so personable and articulate…. I didn’t expect the story to end up like this. That day his father was killed, I really didn’t want to let him go. …Now to see what he’s become, better than anyone ever could have dreamed.”
Muddy’s counselor reported that not only is he #11 in his class, he knows “that his education and experiences should include sports and helping others in the form of community service”. His “give backs” to the community include volunteering as a mentor tor the Southwest Priority Board, as a Peace Ambassador for Black Brothers/Sisters, and as a motivational speaker at a Street SoulJazz. With all of these accomplishments, Muddy is notably humble and appreciative of each offering and each advancement.
Without doubt he carries the essentials for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence and would be a perfect choice for the ACE award.