Detroit Lions safety Don Carey may be known for his great plays on the field. However, off the field he is making even more great plays with a new STEM program initiative, as he encourages kids to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers through reading and writing.
“We partnered with Tata Technologies and Athletes for Charity and without the support of Tata Technologies and without the support of Athletes for Charity, who is the mind behind this great cause, we wouldn’t be able to do this.” Carey said. “So special thanks to Athletes for Charity, special thanks to Tata Technologies for making this possible and also special thanks to my teammates who come out to support as well.”
In fact, last Tuesday, Carey along with a few other Lions players and staff members from Tata Technologies interacted with students of Clark Preparatory Academy, which is one of the two schools that have been selected for the inaugural launch of the STEM Youth Literacy Program.
I must admit that the launch of S.T.E.M programs, in Clark Preparatory Academy, truly is a great cause. The curriculum includes monthly book distributions by various Lions players, introductions to STEM literature and careers, and monthly vocabulary development drawing and essay contests for Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grades to help develop their reading and comprehension skills.
For the children of Clark Preparatory Academy, these experiences are truly great and memorable moments, as they interact with the Lions players, while learning about science, technology, engineering and math and developing their skills in reading and writing.
“Everyone wants to be the lawyer, the doctor or the professional athlete, because those are the common fields of success.” Carey replied. “However, those aren’t the only successful careers out there and we are trying to expand these kids minds to different horizons and let them know that you can be a scientist and that you can work in technology, engineering or mathematics. To be honest, those are skills that we need especially with the way that the world is changing nowadays, you need the mathematicians, you need more engineers and scientists and people in technology. Although, I am kind of biased towards this since my major was in technology, it’s great to see kids grasp what we’re bringing to them and be excited about it.”
Although, some will say that the NFL’s image is still a negative one because of the alleged crimes of Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson or because of the way that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell enforces or doesn’t enforce consistent punishment on the players who break the law and team rules. It doesn’t change the fact that there are more great stories within the NFL everyday.
“The sad part about it is that the majority of NFL players are great guys.” Carey said. “It’s a shame that media and society choose to focus on the negative but I am glad someone like yourself is willing to do a study or a story about what is going on here and shed a true light on all the good taking place throughout the NFL. Sometimes, perception can be reality unless proper perception is given.”
“The thing I have learned over the years, is that guys want to be involved, it’s just the ‘how to get involved” that lacks. I thank God that I am able to show players this is how we get involved and hopefully, they will continue to get involved whether they are in Detroit or on another team somewhere else. So I’m hoping that we can all branch out and continue to have a big influence in our communities.”
At the end of the day, Carey is not just making an impact in one area. To be honest, Carey, along with the Lions, Tata Technologies and Athletes for Charity are making an impact worldwide, making the future that much brighter, as they continue to impact our young people.
“I believe our children are our future and if we impact our children, we impact our future.” Carey said. “So if you want to see change going forward, we have to impact our children and make sure they are excited about learning and helping to change the culture of our world to ensure a brighter future.”
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Producer of “The Morning Heat” on Hot 107.5 and Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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