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Earning MVP Status Off the Field


by Kelvin Beachum, NFL offensive tackle for the New York Jets

Growing up, it’s always a dream to hear your name called on NFL Draft night. While the goal as a competitor in any sport is to be acknowledged as valuable on the field of play, I have always felt equally committed to earning MVP status off the field.

Kelvin Beachum Giving Tuesday event

Kelvin Beachum, NFL offensive tackle for the New York Jets, joined Samsung employees for a Giving Tuesday event benefitting DonorsChoose.

For me, a spirit of giving is a foundational principle that was ingrained in me since childhood. As a man of faith, father, son, and professional athlete, I feel a strong responsibility to speak up and take action for those who are underprivileged and those who are marginalized. My experiences have provided a feeling of gratitude toward society and compassion toward those who need help.

DonorsChoose classroom photo

Photo courtesy of DonorsChoose

Education is vital in the success and development of an individual. With inequity in education across the country, it is essential to work toward offering access to resources and opportunities to all students so they can thrive.

This Giving Tuesday, as a part of the global generosity movement, I am partnering with the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national STEM contest and DonorsChoose to help fund open projects in New York and New Jersey, taking a step toward ensuring every classroom in these areas have the tools and experiences they need for a well-rounded education.

DonorsChoose is a platform that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects. Educators from every corner of America create classroom project requests and donors can give any amount to the project that inspires them.

Kelvin Beachum

Kelvin Beachum (left), NFL offensive tackle for the New York Jets, speaks to Samsung employees about leadership, giving back and what he hopes to see from technology in ten years.

As an eight-year veteran in the NFL, I have played with multiple teams in various cities and worked to impact each community I join. DonorsChoose makes it easy for me to stay connected to my hometown, my home state, and the cities I’ve played in and continue to provide access and opportunity to students across the country.

Kelvin Beachum Giving Tuesday eventAfter meeting with 100 Samsung employees today in New Jersey, they each received a $50 DonorsChoose gift card to help fund open projects to provide classroom resources and additional items for a total impact of at least $5,000. Teachers at 83% of public schools in America have posted projects on the platform, which allows for every donor to make an impact in classrooms across the country of significance to them. As an advocate for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education, I have created a campaign site and hand-selected projects within the STEAM principles in under-represented areas of New Jersey and New York for this event.

Kelvin Beachum Giving TuesdayEducation is an essential human virtue and a necessity of society. It is the foundation for a successful future, and the basis for establishing a good life. Our education system needs support to improve resource equity, ensuring that there is a fair distribution of resources, including money, effective teaching, student supplies and a challenging curriculum.

Something happens when we actively practice a spirit of gratitude and giving; it creates a ripple effect of kindness. I encourage everyone to consider giving back through education, today on Giving Tuesday, and throughout this holiday season, and thank both DonorsChoose and Samsung for providing the platforms they do that work to enable young people to reach their full potential.

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