Sacrificing something you love doing is never easy, but Kenyon McElway knew it was necessary in order to fulfill his ultimate aspirations.
A defensive back on the West Bloomfield High School football team last fall, McElway could have pursued opportunities to play that sport in college, and perhaps get some scholarship money out of it.
McElway had chances to play for numerous programs, including Valparaiso, Dayton, Northern Michigan, Saginaw Valley State and Michigan Tech, but eventually realized there was something else out there for him.
“I didn’t want to invest all my time in football when I knew it wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to go,” McElway said.
Where McElway wants to go is to be a successful filmmaker/producer/screenwrite
McElway won a $10,000 scholarship provided by Michigan First Credit Union, which he will put to good use after he graduates from West Bloomfield in June.
McElway first applied for the scholarship in January, which required him to send in a resume and submit a short video touting what makes his generation so great.
Earlier in March, McElway got the good news that he had been selected the winner of the scholarship.
“I said our generation embraced change better, were more innovative, more tech savvy, stuff like that,” McElway said.
Making a film was right up his alley, since McElway already has a side video production business.
He started off doing video production when he made his own highlight tapes for football that he could send out to prospective college coaches, but through that discovered football wasn’t his best gift.
The filming bug bit him and he has since branched out to doing videos for other students around the school and community members.
“I’ve done two documentaries,” McElway said. “That’s my third income. I also work at Foot Locker and also (Franklin Hills) Country Club.”
McElway said once he graduates, he will move out to California and attend Santa Monica College for two years.
After that, he plans on transferring his credits to another to-be-determined university in California in order to further develop his film career.
“Football would just be taking the time I need to invest to do that,” McElway. “It was going to be hard to focus on football and to focus on my film career.”
Look out, Hollywood. A blossoming star in the film industry is headed your way.