Deshon Floyd has spent his entire life in Frankfort.
Now he’s ready to see a little more of the world.
Floyd, a 2010 graduate of Frankfort High School, will graduate from Kentucky State University in December and in February he’ll be heading to Wellington, New Zealand for a six-week internship in psychology.
It’ll take a 35-hour flight to get to New Zealand, the farthest Floyd has ever been from home.
“I’ve been to Las Vegas and California, but nothing this extensive,” he said. “I’ve never left the country; no one in my family has left the country. I’m the first one to get a passport.”
Floyd will play his senior year of football for the Thorobreds this fall. He currently has a 3.94 grade-point average and will graduate with a double major in criminal justice and psychology.
As a senior in high school he was named the male academic athlete of the year by the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Association, and he followed that by being named the KSU Presidential top male student-athlete for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Floyd will be doing his internship through CISabroad.
Anyone can apply
“Anyone can apply, but not everyone is accepted,” he said. “It’s an extensive application process. You have to have a GPA that’s a minimum of 3.2. I had to send transcripts from the university, two letters of recommendation, I had to fill out a questionnaire, there was a Skype interview and I had to send my resumé.”
Floyd originally planned to go to law school after graduation, and he hasn’t ruled that out.
“It’s not as prevalent,” he said. “When I was growing up it’s something I wanted to do. I can’t stand here and say I’m going to do it or I’m not going to do it.”
But as his college career continued so did his interest in psychology.
“When I started taking psychology I really enjoyed it,” Floyd said. “I think when you’re good at something you do enjoy it. Taking more classes, digging deeper into the field, is something I enjoy.”
Internships were available in several cities overseas, including London, Dublin, Ireland, and Barcelona, Spain, but Floyd settled on New Zealand’s capital city.
“New Zealand worked for me,” Floyd said. “It’s the area I needed to be in for psychology. When I look at the authors of my textbooks, a lot of them are from that area.”
The internship has a program fee of $5,000, which has to be paid in full by Dec. 1.
Raising funds now
To reach that goal Floyd has been fund-raising since he was accepted for the internship. He’s placed flyers at Pic-Pac and both Kroger locations, and he spoke at the South Frankfort Neighborhood Association last month.
“Any opportunity to speak, especially in South Frankfort where I spend the majority of my time, has been fantastic,” Floyd said.
He’s been working at Juniper Hill pool this summer and his girlfriend, Vegas Villamar, a 2013 graduate of KSU, is a corrections officer at the jail and is working three jobs.
“We’re taking a chunk out of our paychecks and putting it in savings,” Floyd said. “It’s not just donations.”
Floyd has set up an account exclusively for donations and said he is about halfway to his goal.
“People have been really responsive,” he said. “I don’t know if I’d have done this well if I lived in a bigger city like Lexington or Louisville. The people in Frankfort, some don’t even know me but they want to help.
“People are saying I’m an inspiration, that I can be a role model for the youth in Frankfort. I’ve never thought of myself like that.”
But Floyd can serve in that capacity, having successfully melded his academic and athletic careers.
A defensive end, Floyd played in nine games last season and was named first team on the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s all-academic team.
Floyd’s internship runs from Feb. 1-March 14.
“I’m excited to see how I do,” he said, “how I stand up in a different part of the world — stand up intellectually — and see how I hang.”
Those interested in helping Floyd fund his internship can send checks to Deshon Floyd, P.O. Box 1733, Frankfort, KY 40602, or they can contribute through the website www.cisabroad.com. Look under Finances and click on payment methods.