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Damar Hamlin launches scholarship program for Cincinnati youths

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin looks on during a NFL game

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Nov. 06) — In a heartfelt tribute to those who saved his life, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is launching a scholarship program for Cincinnati youths, a gesture that honors the medical team that sprang into action during one of the most harrowing moments in recent NFL history.

Hamlin's Chasing M’s Foundation announced the initiative Sunday, revealing plans to award $1,000 scholarships to 10 individuals from Cincinnati's under-served communities annually over the next three years.

Each scholarship bears the name of the first-responders, nurses, and doctors who attended to Hamlin after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field in a game at Cincinnati on Jan. 2.

Read more: Emotional video shows players praying and crying after Damar Hamlin’s collapse

The scholarship program's unveiling was timed with the Bills' poignant return to Cincinnati to face the Bengals on Sunday night.

Hamlin, who arrived with the team a day earlier, personally introduced the program at a dinner attended by the 10 medical professionals who are credited with saving his life.

"I’m humbled by the opportunity to set up a scholarship program to honor this team of professionals - my Cincinnati heroes - who helped save my life," Hamlin said in a statement.

"Today, as I look at honoring these Cincinnati heroes and lifting up young people who are trying to find their way, I’m reminded of the enormous blessing I’ve been given through my charity and the generosity of people around the world."

Hamlin's own journey underscores the impact of educational opportunities. Growing up in the Pittsburgh exurb of McKees Rocks, he benefited from a scholarship to attend Central Catholic High School, which paved the way to a collegiate career at the University of Pittsburgh and eventually led to his selection by the Bills in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Read Also: Heartbreaking moment on the field: Bills safety Damar Hamlin

While Hamlin founded Chasing M’s during his college years with the intent to support local youths, the foundation's profile and mission expanded dramatically following his collapse and subsequent recovery, drawing more than $9 million in donations.

The foundation has since been instrumental in distributing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to community sports leagues and advocating for CPR training.

At 25, Hamlin has made a remarkable return to the NFL, earning a spot on the Bills roster this August. Though he has played in only one game this season and is not expected to take the field Sunday night, his presence as the team's fifth safety is a testament to his resilience and determination.

The Chasing M’s scholarship program stands as a legacy of Hamlin's experience, turning a personal tragedy into a beacon of hope and opportunity for the youth of Cincinnati.

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As a youngster, I was never really good at sports, even though I tried my hardest. Nevertheless, I am big fan of writing and enjoys reporting from events across the globe. I am Cedrick. Love!

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