Travis B. Keywas born in Harvey, IL—a south suburb of Chicago plagued with high drug, poverty, and crime rates. He and his slightly older brother William were raised by his single mother, Jacqueline, with the support of many family members, most notably their Grandmother Eva (Nana) and older sister Regina. Jackie often worked two or three jobs at once to make ends meet, which forced Travis to grow up at a very early age. Travis was frequently in trouble at school and at home. He began spending more time in the streets. His father, William Sr., was in the picture but rarely under the same roof.
Living in such a negative environment and her boys not taking school as seriously as they should, Jackie made the courageous decision to relocate her family to Three Rivers, MI. Although Travis and William didn’t understand it at the time, the decision was made to give them access to better opportunities as they entered high school. In high school, Travis became a standout student athlete in football, basketball, and track, earning many academic and athletic accolades along the way. The move to Three Rivers not only gave Travis a new beginning, but it afforded him the opportunity to meet the love of his life, Giovanna, who would eventually become his wife.
In the fall of 2003, after turning down a few small school offers to play football, Travis decided to attend Michigan State University to pursue Engineering. Travis decided that he would walk on to the Spartan football team and earn himself a scholarship. Travis was given his shot to make the team at an open tryout in January of 2004 where he succeeded. The next two seasons, Travis earned playing time as a special team’s player for the Spartans while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors in both years. By mid-season of his junior year, Travis had played his way into the starting line up as a safety for the Spartan defense.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Packaging in May 2007, Travis decided to return to school for his last year of eligibility and pursue his master’s degree. In the fall of 2007, he was selected as captain of the team by his teammates and coaches. This honor was a testament to the hard work and leadership he displayed throughout his time in East Lansing. After a stellar senior year, he earned his fourth consecutive Academic All-Big Ten award and was selected honorable mention All-Big Ten as a player. He was rated one of the top safeties in the 2008 NFL draft class.
After facing the disappointment of not getting drafted, Travis signed as an undrafted free-agent with the Minnesota Vikings. He would go on to have a short two and a half year professional football career including stops in Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego, Indianapolis, and Montréal. Travis retired from the game in the summer of 2010 and began his career as a packaging engineer. He received his master’s degree in Packaging from Michigan State in the fall of 2012.
Travis has five siblings Lilia, Regina, Damon, Latoya, and William. Travis currently works for the Kellogg Company and lives in Michigan with his wife and three children.
Travis B. Key - Ashton Henderson
Authors / Inspirational Speakers / Philanthropists