Maurice Torres, a junior with the Red Hawks men’s basketball
team, was recently named the recipient of the Giant Steps Courageous
Student-Athlete Award for 2007 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports
at its 10th Annual Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida. This national award is
given in recognition of students who have overcome obstacles or challenges in
their lives and succeeded in athletics and academics, their pursuit of life
goals and their commitment to the community.
At the event, Torres was lauded and sought out by some of
the top names in collegiate sports, both past and present, who took the time to
congratulate him on his honor. “The experience was amazing,” said Torres. “Just
being able to meet other individuals and families who have had their own
struggles and, through the grace of God overcame them, was great."
Torres’ story of personal courage is one of great
inspiration. When he was only four years old, Torres and his mother were homeless
and had to sleep in alleyways while his sisters stayed with relatives. On the
streets, he was forced to witness drug use, violence and prostitution before
eventually being moved to the foster care system.
Determined to keep the family together, Torres moved from
home to home until he and his sisters found a loving family that could provide
for them all. They spent two years there
before being sent to an orphanage for a year until they were taken in—and
eventually adopted—by the Davis family.
Torres, the first in his family to go to college, has excelled in both sports and academics at Montclair State. He also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and tutors middle school children. He is president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and participates in many other activities. A campus leader and a role model, Torres is a true asset to the University community.