Former PJPII athlete a national award finalist

Sean O’Brien, a graduate of Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell, has been selected as a finalist for a National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) High School National Scholar-Athlete Award.

The NFF will honor one young man from each of the country’s five regions as the best and the brightest for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens at the high school level.

The NFF announced the 36 finalists for the honors last week and will announce the five winners on Oct. 9.

O’Brien, who will play football at Rhodes College this fall, was nominated for the honor by the Allstate Sugar Bowl NFF Chapter after being recognized as one of 32 local scholar-athletes.

He was also selected for a $10,000 scholarship at the event. Scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.

O’Brien has overcome unimaginable adversity – he lost his mother when he was 9 years old, followed shortly after by losing his home to Katrina. Then at 12 years old, his father died.

He wrote, “Life will be filled with challenges and because of what I have been through, I know I will be strong enough to succeed.”

And succeed he has. He was a four-year football letterman, a three-time all-district selection and a two-time team captain. He also was a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll with a 4.0 grade-point average.

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