Bucs Coach Morris, Ronde Barber and Pam Iorio added inpsiration to the motivational ChairScholars Fest

A summer-like swelter didn't prevent hundreds of relatives, loved ones and friends from cheering on 35 scholarship recipients in Odessa on April 9.

At the 15th annual ChairScholars Festival, kids with mobility challenges, blindness and deafness and other disabilities, were given the chance to attend a full four years of college — an inspiring act of defiance against daunting statistics.

Many of the recipients have already beaten the odds. They have GPAs competitively higher than their able-bodied peers and are only prevented from attending college for financial reasons. ChairScholars removes one last obstacle from their path to a higher education.

In attendance and speaking at the event were former Mayor Pam Iorio, Bucs Coach Raheem Morris and famed Bucs defense player Ronde Barber.