West Point teen raising money to attend STEM summer program

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

WEST POINT — Xantavious Brewer just wants to play basketball, watch ESPN and continue taking the steps necessary to become a scientist.

“I like how they [scientists] discover new things, so I wanted to do that,” Brewer said.

Brewer recently received an invitation from the National Youth Leadership Council to participate in this summer’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. The program will take place in Washington D.C. in July.

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Brewer is a member of the Kind Intelligent Noble Gentlemen (KING) mentorship program, led by Troup County High School graduate Telvin Hodo in West Point. The program takes the kids on field trips to sites like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta. Hodo also attended the leadership council when he was a teenager.

This summer, Brewer is playing AAU basketball with Warriors Elite under one of the coaches from Long Cane Middle School. He proclaims himself as a shooter, and said one memory on the court that he won’t forget was catching fire from beyond the arc during eighth-grade tryouts this past season. Brewer’s favorite team are the Golden State Warriors, led by the player who he models his game after in Stephen Curry. Brewer also likes to watch Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young play.

“He sleeps, eats and watches basketball,” Brewer’s stepfather Emery Edge said. “He’ll wake up to it, eat breakfast with it, he doesn’t play about those hoops. I’ll go into his room, and his channel is on sports. He isn’t missing any action.”

Despite having a great passion for the game, the 14-year-old Brewer keeps perspective on his desired career field.

“I know there’s a very slight chance that I may make it to the league so you have to always have a plan B,” Brewer said. “Most of the time they say it in class, like when you were a little on the first day of class and they ask you where you want to go, who do you want to be. A lot of the boys in my class said that they wanted to go to the league, and the teacher will tell you that there’s a very slight chance that you’ll make it.”

Brewer’s aspirations to enter the STEM field inspired Edge as well.

“It makes me think,” Edge said. “When I was growing up, I remember that same question. I look at it way different now. Xan is a laid back kid and he’s in the hood, so he isn’t one of those kids who go out there wilding out. To see one of the young individuals out there who’s in the struggle, but he’s pushing forward to try and make his situation better. There’s not too many out there. There’s too many who are so good at what they’re doing, but they’ll fall right into the streets instead of tightening up and getting themselves together. [Brewer’s] one of those blessed ones who kept a level head.”

Brewer is currently raising funds to take to the trip to D.C. this summer to participate in the program and get one step closer to realizing his ultimate career dream.

All inquiries about making a donation can be forward to Hodo at kinginc706@gmail.com.