A standout athlete from Lorain will be going to Ohio State University this fall on a full scholarship — but not for sports.
Julian Colbert, who was on Clearview High School’s football and wrestling teams, was named as a Morrill Scholar, which rewards students with high academic achievement who are involved in diversity-based leadership.
Colbert wrote an essay to land the highly competitive scholarship, which highlighted the importance of inclusion among socioeconomic lines, not just embracing racial differences.
“It’s a blessing there is a scholarship for this. I’ve never felt like I belonged to a certain group. My mom is white, my dad is black. I always grew up with people of different races, people from all backgrounds of class and culture in my school who come together and live next to each other,” Colbert said. “Diversity is not just people who look different but live differently, too. When you look past it, it allows you to meet more people and makes things a little bit easier to understand.”
Colbert was a varsity wrestler and was a Divison III state qualifier before deciding not to go out for it during his last years of school. He played varsity football all four years, as a tight end and linebacker last year, and was team captain both junior and senior years.
At the same time, he also was class president, maintained a 4.0 grade point average, and finished his high school requirements before his senior year and attended Lorain County Community College this year. He will graduate with his Clearview High School class this spring, receiving his high school diploma and an associate degree in applied science at the same time.
His mom, Randi Colbert, said her son has always been driven.
“His drive and determination, it’s humbling as a mother. He has a work ethic greater than most adults,” she said. “Obviously we tried to instill it in him growing up, but a lot of it is just him. We never had to go to parent-teacher conferences. He’s always taken the initiative and been so driven.
“With this scholarship, he could maybe go into human rights advocacy, it opens up a lot of doors,” she said. “I remember once picking him up from elementary school and he had this look on his face. I said what’s wrong, I thought he was going to say he got suspended. He said, ‘Mom, I got a B.’ He was so upset with himself.”
Colbert doesn’t know what he wants to study, though he is interested in the military and fitness and nutrition. He is looking forward to the opportunities the scholarship provides. Morrill Scholars travel and engage in social community work and are encouraged to use their voice to promote inclusion and student advocacy, he said.
“I want to be successful and have a stable life and I definitely want to give back. That’s my goal. That’s probably my favorite thing to do. Emotional support was a big job as team captain. Many kids didn’t show up to practice, not because they didn’t want to but because they lived at home with an older brother or no parents, or sometimes they had girl issues. Me and my buddies, we really took the time to check in with everyone and make sure they were as good off the field as they were on the field.
“It’s always better to make people around you better. If those people are good, then you’re going to be good, too,” he said