Recently, 19 NFL Ambassadors teamed up with high school students, college interns, and United Way representatives from across the country to help educate and empower students and better prepare them to return to their communities and inspire action. The United Way Youth Empowerment Summit – involving youth strategy sessions, presentations, congressional visits, and panel discussions was three days and culminated on June 21st in a trip to Capitol Hill on the fifth annual United Way Day of Action.
As a Summit participant, the most memorable part of my trip was the significant time I spent with a high school student from San Francisco – Brandon Torrence. We spent much of our time together – at United Way World Wide, American University, and Capitol Hill – and I was able to learn of his many accomplishments and experiences. We were up early in the morning together, enjoyed meals together, and attended Summit events together. At one point, I jokingly told him I was serving as his personal body guard for the week, and he subsequently referred to me as “my body guard”.
In addition to my time with Brandon, I was routinely overcome with a strong sense of admiration for Team NFL. The commitment and passion they exuded during each of the events was tremendous. Their approachability and willingness to engage with the youth and act as role models was beyond reproach. In short, each player embodied the spirit of an exceptional teammate and exhibited a personal sense of responsibility for contributing to the community. And as astonishing as their physical capabilities and athletic prowess so often proves on Sundays, it was the NFLer’s extraordinary “intangibles” – leadership, mentorship, motivational and inspirational elements – that plays an integral role in advancing the common good in our communities!
Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, and a civilization work.” The three days personified the sentiment expressed by Coach – world-class athletes, role models, and influencers collectively joining together to create opportunities for others and strengthen the fabric for a better working society.
To join the movement, go to www.uwba.org/mobilize.