FAIRBORN — Fairborn High School graduates Matthew Cline (class of 2013) and Jordan Michael (class of 2014) recently returned to the district to the place where they met as fourth graders — Fairborn Intermediate School. This time, when they came back to their old elementary school, they brought more than 30 pairs of new Nike tennis shoes for students in need.
Cline and Michael attended Fairborn City Schools and graduated from college in spring 2018. Cline attended college on a football scholarship but was injured and had to leave. He finished his degree at Wright State University. He now has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Michael attended Lake Erie College, where he played basketball, and completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Cline has returned several times to Fairborn Intermediate School to share his story with the students. He has been part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters program as well.
“When I was a kid, I had holes in my shoes. It was winter and it was cold, and I was embarrassed,” Cline said. “I didn’t have the confidence to try athletics or get involved. But when I got a new pair of shoes and felt confident, that’s where it changed. They need self confidence and encouragement to try a sport or activity and get involved. If I can help with that, then that’s what I’ll do.”
As a high school student, Cline received the Fairborn Intermediate No Excuses University Scholarship, now called the FIS First Generation Scholarship. He has returned to speak to students about hard work, persevering through challenges and having confidence to keep going.
Cline has started his own business called Success Incline and intends to expand into a non-profit platform so he can impact more students in his hometown.