HOUSTON (FOX 26) - First, confusion. Then, disbelief.
"Zeno, Zeno, Zeno, Zeno!," chants the crowd.
Here comes joy.
"On behalf of Reliant Energy and the Houston Texans, we would like to present you with a scholarship check for $5,000!"
Heights High School senior student athlete Dav'ion Zeno felt every emotion as her learned that he was once of among eight students in Houston to be named as a recipient of the Scholarship for Champions award. He is a leader on campus, a homecoming king and an athlete.
"I felt like a proud papa, you know a lot of my boys they are like my sons and seeing them grow into these young men," explained assistant principal Brian Gaston, who nominated Zeno. "I've seen him since his freshman year and he's just blossomed all around and I'm so proud of him."
Since 2005, Reliant Energy has teamed with the Texans to conduct the surprise visits, giving more than $400,000 to deserving students.
Bill Clayton, Reliant Energy vice president of customer care operations, says the scholarship program is a team effort and only the beginning of the company's charitable efforts.
The Texans Care volunteer day unites Reliant Energy employees, 2,000 volunteers and even some Texans players as they dedicate their time toward multiple non-profit organizations.
"What was interesting, I went this past spring and there was Brock, that was a quarterback and guess what he was doing? "He was shoveling mulch and really making the Boys and Girls Club better."
Clayton says it is the perfect example of how his company is plugged into Houston in more ways than one. As part of the Reliant Energy Houston Texans plan, when someone enrolls in the home electricity plan, Reliant will make a $25 donation to be split between the Justin J. Watt Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation. For anyone who wants to get involved, the third round of Reliant Gives will kick off soon. Employees chose three Texas charities that anyone can vote on.
"You can go to Reliant.com and vote and guess what? The winner gets $100,000 and second place gets ten and third gets $5,000, but here's the deal -- everybody wins because we are able to shine a light on the great work that charitable organizations are doing in Texas."
A true testament to how hard work really does pay off, especially for Zeno.
"We did it, mama!," shouted Zeno.