COSTA MESA — Alipa Peters has experienced a lot of adversity, from financial hardship to the death of loved ones. Tuesday afternoon was a time to celebrate his ability to rise above it all.
At Estancia High's training center, teammates applauded the soft-spoken 17-year-old who received the surprise of his lifetime. He was one of two Orange County football players selected into the Legacy Leadership Project, a mentoring program that includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Peters, who has two deceased brothers and a father who died of heart failure 10 years ago, was left speechless about receiving the rare honor.
"This is the biggest surprise [in my life]," Peters said later. "It was like a dream come true."
For the past few weeks, coaches and administrators at Estancia kept quiet about the good news for Peters, who was nominated by Eagles football coach Mike Bargas.