Indiana University senior, Tim Klawitter, tells of his experience as a student manager and how United Way team NFL interns are impacting education. Tim is specializing in sports communication, business and journalism. He will be graduating in December and is presently searching for a full-time position. As a a student manager for the Indiana Football team and a United Way TEAM NFL Intern, Tim promotes the civic efforts of Virgil Green of the Denver Broncos and Antoine Bethea of the Indianapolis Colts via digital marketing and social media. You can connect with Tim via both Twitter and Instagram.
In today’s fast-paced, results-driven world, it’s easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and forget about taking a second to give back. We focus on tasks that will benefit ourselves and spend our days consuming rather than making a difference and bettering the world we live in.
Not too long ago I was given a special opportunity to make a difference when I was one of 32 college students nationwide selected to be a United Way Worldwide TEAM NFL Intern.
“Not too long ago I was given a special opportunity to make a difference…”
In a country where over 1.2 million students fail to graduate on time, I was called upon to be a part in the United Way Worldwide initiative to cut the high school dropout rate in half by 2018 by partnering up with NFL players who care to see a change. United Way recruited players from all 32 NFL teams and assigned interns to work with each player to promote their civic efforts in the community, while recruiting volunteer readers, tutors and mentors to make a difference in the lives of students across the nation.
Jody Davis is a shining example of such a student. A bright, unassuming high school scholar and aspiring lyricist from the Denver area, Jody had a high school basketball coach that wouldn’t allow his players on the court if they didn’t keep their grades up. This was a positive influence in a place where one out of every four kids in the Denver community fails to graduate on time.
Jody, along with 38 other high-performing students from challenged schools, 19 NFL players and 21 interns came together on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to learn, discover and innovate ways to keep kids in school.
I was a part of Team Virgil, representing Virgil Green of the Denver Broncos. I promoted and advocated Green’s involvement in the Denver community and particularly his relationship with Jody. At one of the Youth Empowerment events in D.C., Jody took the stage and the microphone to share his talents with Virgil at his side.
“It was a moment that put into perspective why we all were there – to make a difference.”
Jody amazed everyone in the building as he performed a freestyle that promoted his faith, illuminated his knowledge and entertained everyone. It was a moment that put into perspective why we all were there – to make a difference.
Part of what I do with TEAM NFL is promote this initiative and recruit pledges to volunteer with kids in their community to have positive influences in the lives of people like Jody. I manage social media accounts, tweet and capture moments like these that I aim to reach digital masses.
I got the chance to network with NFL players like Green, Cam Newton, Greg Jennings, Antoine Bethea and Nnamdi Asomugha, their managers, along with over 20 senators and representatives to get this message out to as many people as possible.
We participated in a one-day social media stunt that generated over 15 million views on Twitter and nearly 800,000 views on Facebook. I’ve spoken to classes, lectures and fraternity and sorority houses across the Indiana University campus, spreading the message and recruiting volunteers.
It has been a life changing experience to say the least and one that I’m blessed and privileged to have.
It’s time we all take a second to set aside our daily tasks and schedule and find a way to make a positive change.
It could make a difference with a kid like Jody.