Kentucky State University President Raymond M. Burse launched 100 Days of Pay It Forward Frankfort on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, as football players practiced in a field across from Alumni Stadium.
Burse walked onto the practice field with a letter and called for one of the players, Deshon Floyd, a senior criminal justice and psychology major from Frankfort. Burse watched as Floyd opened the envelope and read the letter. Floyd, stunned, was speechless when he finally looked up.
Floyd had been working to raise $5,000 needed for an internship in psychology in New Zealand. He said he had so far raised $3,000. Burse offered to support Floyd in efforts by covering the rest in an act of kindness that kicked off Pay It Forward Frankfort campaign. The campaign is coordinated by Dr. Shannon Brogan, an associate professor of Speech Communication, and Irma Johnson, KSU’s regional stewardship and community service coordinator.
“As a top psychology student on this campus, you deserve it,” Burse told Floyd. “Pay it forward.”
At first, Floyd’s only response was, “I don’t know what to say.”
Floyd said he didn’t know what to expect when he was called away from practice. He praised Burse, the university and the city of Frankfort as he talked about the act of kindness.
“This is a great place to be,” Floyd said of the city. “This is such a great university. I never would have dreamt this.”
Burse said he read about Floyd and his mission to raise money for the internship in The State Journal, Frankfort’s daily newspaper. Burse said he was later approached by the organizers of Pay It Forward Frankfort and decided helping Floyd was a great opportunity because Floyd is a top student with a great grade point average.
It was only a coincidence that the day Floyd received the gift, Aug. 15, was also his 22nd birthday.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “Words can’t even describe how happy I am.”
Floyd graduated from Frankfort High School and is the grandson of Debbie Osborne. He plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology after completing his studies at KSU.
Several individuals and businesses across Frankfort have already signed up to Pay It Forward Frankfort for the next 100 days. Participants are encouraged to use a common hashtag (#payitfwdfrankfort) on Instagram and other social media sites to share photos of their acts of kindness after the activities are complete.