Charles Dawson recently finished his freshman season as a defensive back for the UCLA Bruins Football Team. Prior to attending UCLA, Charles played four years as a varsity starter and two years as a Team Captain at Windward High School Charles was three-time All-League first team, two-time Windward Athlete of the Year and Football MVP. In his junior and senior year of high school he totaled 1,195 yards rushing with 23 touchdowns and 1,025 yards receiving with 18 touchdowns, 113 tackles and 11 interceptions. Charles also started for three years on Windward's varsity basketball team, where he received two All-League second team awards, and led his team to win the State Championships in 2011.
What grade did you start at The Willows? I started at The Willows in kindergarten and was there through 8th grade.
What are some of your favorite memories from when you were a student at The Willows? All of the sleepover retreats and getting the chance to hang out and bond with all of my classmates.
How does it feel to play for the UCLA Bruins? Playing for UCLA is a dream come true. I've worked extremely hard to be in the position I'm in, and now I'm excited to take advantage of the opportunity of being a student athlete at UCLA and making the most of it.
What coaches inspired you? Coach Rahim (Rahim Muhammad, Willows P.E. Teacher and Coach) has definitely inspired me to always work hard whether it's on the field or in the classroom. He has already been through what I am going through in terms of playing college sports, so he's always giving me good advice to become a better student, person, and athlete.
What is your weekly training schedule? My weekly training schedule changes every week, but I typically lift weights twice a week in the morning. Then I have practice for about an hour and a half every day, and finish the day with film study. Fridays are the days we travel for our games on Saturday.
Do you have a role model? If yes, who is it and why do you look up to them? My role model is definitely my Dad. Watching how hard he works to provide for the family and how unselfish he is, has inspired me to want to help others achieve success as well as work as hard as I can to be successful.
What fact do you think people would find the most surprising about you? A fact people might find surprising about me is that I did not want to play football in high school when I first started.
Any advice to current Willows students or new alums? My advice to Willows students would be to always follow your dreams no matter what type of adversity you might face. Whether the odds are in your favor or not, anything is possible through hard work and dedication. Anything else that you would like to add? I am a proud Willows alum. I constantly brag about how even though Willows is small, it produces some of the best student-athletes and made me who I am today.