Jonathan Vilma instills hope for Haitians and Americans alike

January 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

New Orleans Saints player Jonathan Vilma has been a football star from the start. His success began at Coral Gables High School in Florida, where he led the team as captain for two years. At the University of Miami he was a three-time Academic All-Big East Conference choice and selected as a scholar-athlete for 2002-2003 academic year. His professional career proved to be even bigger as he was selected in 2004 for the first round draft by the New York Jets, earned Defensive Rookie of the Year and was later selected for several Pro Bowls. Now a member of the Saints, Jonathan has shown that the NFL is about more than fame and fortune. A successful linebacker, Jonathan has used his celebrity status to make a difference in his parents’ native country of Haiti.

After the devastating earthquake in January 2010 he participated in a public service announcement to help fundraise for victims. Later that year he launched the Jonathan Vilma Foundation to support the building of a charter school in Port-Au-Prince. The school, called the Artists for Peace and Justice, welcomed more than 700 students through its doors last fall. The school offers more than education to underprivileged children, though. Because of the Jonathan Vilma Foundation the school can clothe, feed and attend to the medical needs of its students, ensuring they not only advance academically but that physical needs are also met. But Jonathan didn’t stop giving there.

He also began work last year with Operation HOPE and the 5 Million Kids (5MK) Initiative to promote the importance of education for inner-city youth. As part of his involvement, he makes appearances for the 5MK Make Smart Cool Tour—a tour across America encouraging schools to educate kids on the benefits of staying in school. Jonathan not only uses his prowess as a pro-football player to help change the our nation’s education, but he also gives back to his teammates to help educate them on finances. His financial conference, “Jonathan Vilma’s Financial 51,” helps NFL players learn how to manage their money. In our economically unstable times, Jonathan has given generously of his time and money to help people from Haiti to America earn a better life.

Entry filed under: Haiti, Sport, Sucess. Tags: , , .

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