What’s up Yardbarker? Man, May has been a busy month. I’ve been in my home-sweet-home of DC working out with my brother Vontae and spending time with family and friends. Earlier this month me and Vontae teamed up to raise money for the Sound Mind and Sound Body Football Academy fundraiser. We had to wake up so early to do Tv and radio interviews that I felt like I was back in season training. Whew! But it was worth it. We had an phenomenal turn out at the May 3rd Gala in DC and raised a lot of funds for the football academy which will bring 200 young men from DC area high schools to attend the mentoring weekend at Howard University June 23rd and 24th. I want to send a special thanks out to my boy Big Tigger for having me and Vontae on his radio show “Live In the Den” to promote this event. Tig - you’re the man!
Here’s a picture of me and Vontae at City Hall where we received a proclamation and met briefly with the mayor.
I also want to give big thank you to all of the founders of Sound Mind Sound Body who give their hearts and souls to these young guys hoping to go pro. They’re all college grads who’ve made it big time in the business sector, yet they come back to the neighborhood to give back to the kids. Their message is: if you work hard, stay fit and stay in school, the world is yours. The five founders of Sound Body Sound Mind football Academy live in cities throughout the country and all came to DC for the gala event.
Here’s a picture of us at City Hall.
Next month Vontae and I will co-host the two-day football academy June 23rd and 24th in DC. We’re going to do it big!
One more highlight of the gala fundraiser was getting the chance to meet world class jazz legend Duke Ellington’s daughter and son, April and Edward Ellington. They’re involved in running the Ellington School of the Arts in DC, a school I wanted to attend when I was a kid.
This is Vontae and I with April and Edward:
Also this month, I just traveled back to my home away from home on the west coast, San Francisco, to do a prodution shoot with Force Factor and to participate in two art events dealing with kids. I awarded a young high school student artist named Sheryl Quock with this year’s Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship. Sheryl’s so talented – she graduated from Lowell High School and is a clothing designer who makes her fashions out of reusable materials – like garbage bags and duct tape. She was accepted to Cornell University for next year. I told you guys I’m serious about my painting, but this young girl’s stuff is so amazing and her drive inspires me so much.
Here’s a picture of me and Sheryl and some of her friends after I presented her with the scholarship at the de Young Museum.
I surprised her when I added a nice little chunk of change to her scholarship. The look on her family’s faces gave me a great feeling.
Also earlier that day, I had the chance to collaborate on a mural with a local Bay area graffiti artist Cameron Moberg and a group of kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Clubhouse. I had a ball talking to the kids about their dreams and hearing their ideas about the world. Hilarious!
Here’s a picture of us.
I spent Memorial Day weekend celebrating Vontae’s birthday and catching up with some of my teammates around the league and then back to the grind this week. I’ll be back in touch soon with updates. It’s been a great off-season and summer is just heating up. I’m excited!!