Hello, I am Tara Davis. I was born in Rockledge, Florida and I am the proud mother of 3 children: Ontaneshia Thomas, Corporal Daryl Thomas (Marine) and Antonio Youngblood, who is a sophomore at Central Georgia Tech in Macon, Georgia..
My youngest son, Antonio is the reason for creating Moms 4 Student Athletes. I became interested in helping basketball players after seeing some of the obstacles many young athletes on my sons’ high school basketball team were going through. I tried to help with encouraging words along with stern facts. After seeing firsthand the hardships these young athletes faced I was driven to try and help all of them. I thought there should be some sort of organization to support and help these athletes and I thought of forming Basketball Moms to accomplish this. I reached out to Bishop Cobaris of the Impact Church about my idea he suggested that the name be changed so it would not limit the organization to only helping basketball players. Keeping that in mind I thought about changing the name to Sports Moms. This idea fell to the wayside after taking and active part in supporting my sons Cocoa High School football and basketball teams. During my son’s freshman year and with Sports Moms still in the back of my mind, I picked up the phone to call Cocoa High School’s Coach Tracy to find out if he could advise me on how to get a business/organization started to help student athletes in need. Coach Tracy said he had been contacted by another mom interested in the same thing and suggested that we meet. The other mom was Kelli Edwards. Coach Tracy set up the meeting and together we created Moms 4 Student Athletes.
My passion was an interest to help high school athletes while Kelli’s passion was an interest to help college athletes and after that first meeting we both realized that our ideas go hand in hand to achieve the same outcome. Moms 4 Student Athletes (MS4A) goal is to help any athlete, in any sport when they need it. “Helping Student Athletes Stay in the Game.”
I am Kelli Edwards and Co-founder of Moms 4 Student Athletes. Originally from Indianapolis, IN I attended Ball State University graduating with a BS in Communications. I moved to Florida when my then husband was offered an employment opportunity in central Florida and have remained here for most of my life. Through the years I have enjoyed working as a flight attendant, Human Resources Manager, Insurance Agent which has lead me to be currently employed as an Administrator at the Florida Preparatory Academy in Melbourne, FL.
This varied background has enabled me to view life at different angles, thus seeing the need for this type of organization.
My son Blake was born in 1994 and attended Oviedo high school his first 2 years and then transfered to Winter Park high school where he excelled in basketball and football and graduated with honors. Blake was offered over 20 scholarships to play Divsion 1 college football. He chose the University of Kentucky, where he started his freshman year and played all 4 years. Blake currently is a recruiter for a major hospital, part owner of 34 Culture and has signed on to play football with the Alliance of American Football, kicking off its inaugural season in 2019.
It was during my son’s high school and predominantly through his college years playing sports that I saw firsthand the struggles, pressure and obstacles that student athletes face. These young adults were miles from home, most of them for the first time, separated from their families and support system. Many parents did not have the means to attend their son’s games or spend time with their children during major holidays due to playing season schedules. I saw students from all over the country lose their scholarships from getting caught up in situations and making poor decisions when they were without guidance. I knew how important it was for my son to have his family present to support him and to let him know I was always close by. And when he faced some hard times it resulted in many a sleepless night.
I soon realized there was a real need for these athletes to have the support that their family could not provide at times; a need for financial, emotional and sometimes legal support. Seeing that need prompted me to reach out and start an organization called Moms for College Athletes, with hope of giving each young athlete the chance to succeed. Starting the organization was delayed but it all came together when Coach Tracy suggested I meet with another mom of a student athlete, Tara Davis with a similar idea and for us to work together for the same goal.