Woods scholarship helps criminology student

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA 9) -- The Quicken Loans National is more than just a PGA tournament. It's a fundraiser for the Tiger Woods Foundation, a place that provides college scholarships.

James Green, one of last year's recipients is a young man who's been through hard times and come out with a clear sense of purpose.

"Growing up my biological father became a frequent abuser of drugs and alcohol," said Green during a speech last month at Quicken Loans media day.

Green did not have to endure those problems for long. His mother, Marcie McMahon took him, his brother and sisters out of that environment.

"I noticed the change in him even at a young age when a few things happened, and I just knew this is not good ... today I know I was right. I know what I did was right," said Marcie McMahon.

Now, James is flourishing as a son, sibling and student at George Mason University. He's also going to have help in the educational arena as an Earl Woods scholarship program recipient.

"Internship seeking, job seeking, all that they offer ... I feel great knowing that support's behind me," said Green.

Tiger Woods spoke about Green at the Quicken Loans press conference.

"Not everyone has opportunity in life and to see some of these kids who've gone through our program ... to see the light go off like that ... makes it all worth it and people like James, they're just special. You just got to give them a chance," said Woods.

The 19-year-old received his scholarship last year from the Tiger Woods Foundation. He lives at Quantico with his mom and and the man he now calls dad, Todd McMahon, a Master Sgt. in the U.S. Marines.

"Proud, definitely proud ... Jimmy's a blessing," said Todd McMahon.

Marcie McMahon remembers the day her son received the news that he'd won the scholarship.

"Ever since we got the call for the scholarship, [we've thought]: okay, this is it, this was the missing link," she said. Todd McMahon says the family is happy the Earl Woods scholarship will help Green succeed beyond just financial support.

Green will have someone in his corner on his road to success, foundation mentor and retired Army Lt. Col., Gregg VanOrden.

"I can tell in just the first year that he's been in it, he's already a star," said VanOrden. "This program is going to offer an opportunity for him and open doors and get him exposed."

VanOrden has ties to the intelligence community, including the Secret Service, Defense Intelligence Agency and Department of State -- all places potentially in Green's future.

"Ten years from now, I see myself working in Homeland Security in Counter Narcotics," said Green. "And I think the program's definitely going to [help]."

Green's journey started when his mom took her children out of a bad situation, into a safe environment. Now, he's going to use his experience, degree in a criminology and the Earl Woods Scholarship to help others stay safe.


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