In September 2017, straight on the heels of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria further devasted the island nation of Puerto Rico. Amidst great tragedy, a mother made the very difficult decision to send her son to Daytona Beach to live with family. When Derrick arrived as a high school sophomore, he didn’t speak a word of English but had a true passion for the game of basketball. That is how he found DME Sports Academy.

As a commuter student, Derrick worked diligently on his English language skills and soon added other courses to his personalized learning plan. Outside the classroom, he took his raw yet very athletic basketball skills to the court and became a favorite of his teammates and coaches for his love of the game.

As his junior year began last August, Derrick became a full time Academy student athlete. As of now, his English skills have blossomed, and he is proud to be studying chemistry in English. On the court, his game is steadily improving, and he is hopes to earn a college scholarship.

In his own words, Derrick said that “I love the school, the social atmosphere, the workload, the interaction with the teachers and the students, and the flexibility to also focus on basketball.”