A new sports academy celebrated its grand opening June 3, welcoming students, parents and many from the community for the event.
Representatives from the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce were also there, welcoming one of its newest members.
Damon Dawson, founder of Atlanta Sports Academy, said the business hopes to "basically, give kids another opportunity. They may have been hurt in their senior year, they may have been under-recruited, they may not have had the GPA to get into the college they wanted to go to," Dawson said.
"We allow them an opportunity to come here and better themselves as students, athletes and people ... it's a holistic approach."
Atlanta Sports Academy is billed as a post-graduate, academic-athletic program for students wanting to earn sports scholarships to an accredited four-year college.
The campus sits on 100 acres adjacent to the defunct Gold Creek Golf Club, about five miles north of Dawsonville.
One of Dawson County's own has joined the academy.
Dawson County High School graduate Preston Lewis signed with Atlanta Sports Academy on June 2.
"I want to make it to the next level, and this would be a good opportunity to get me there," Lewis said.
A defensive lineman, Lewis has played on the Dawson County High School varsity team since his sophomore year.
An honorary member to the academy was also named June 3.
Atlanta Sports Academy Coach Ron Hill gave 10-year-old Kenny Stewart a jersey and football for his "bravery in the face of adversity."
The young Dawson County resident has been battling cancer for almost three years.