• Josh Cribbs Photo
  • Riley Cooper Photo
  • Vonta Leach Photo
  • Greg Jennings Photo
  • Charlie Batch Photo
  • Players Lined Up Photo
  • Antoine Bethea Photo
  • Cliff Avril Photo
  • Cam Newton Photo


The Story


On June 19-21, 2012, 18 NFL players came together with 39 high performing students from challenged schools and 21 college interns at American University to learn, discover and create ways to engage more people as volunteer readers, tutors and mentors. Over the course of the three days, they shared their stories and ideas on Capitol Hill with more than 20 senators and representatives; delivered their message via 50 unique news stories in print, broadcast and online resulting in nearly 98 million impressions; participated in a one-day social media stunt that yielded over 15 million views on Twitter and nearly 800,000 on Facebook. Every year, more than one million students fail to graduate on time. These NFL players and young people are stepping up to make a difference. Join their team. The difference between a dropout and a graduate could be you. Suit up. Pledge to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor at unitedway.org/team-nfl.

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The Players:
Team NFL


  • NFL Players Seek to Cut Number of Dropouts
    New York Times

    The platform of football allows me to reach kids and drive home the message about the importance of education, that without it they limit their opportunities.

    – Chris Canty, New York Giants

  • Fantasy Football: United Way Works with Team of NFL Volunteers to Recruit Readers, Tutors and Mentors
    Houston Chronicle

    Youth involved in mentoring relationships have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Money alone won't solve the education challenge. Communities of support that give their time to advancing and empowering youth create a bright future for all Americans.

    – Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Nnamdi Asomugha on
    WTXF (FOX - Philadelphia)

    8:30 AM 06/20/12
    Impressions: 98,392

    Nnamdi Asomugha photo
  • NFL and United Way team up to tackle dropout rate
    USA Today

    Being here today, seeing people from all the different walks of life, how just a simple kind word or act of kindness or you just caring about somebody can change the world.

    – Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Cliff Avril on
    WXYZ (ABC - Detroit)

    12:30PM 06/20/12
    Impressions: 99,709

    Cliff Avril photo
  • Huff Joins United Way TEAM NFL
    Raiders News

    This event is hands down the best event I've done in my life. The young people here have so much energy and ideas on how they're going to change the world and I'm glad I can be a part of it.

    – Michael Huff, Oakland Raiders

  • Jennings Ready for Another Run
    Fox Sports

    We're here on the campus of American University to empower youth and attract more volunteers to get involved as readers, tutors and mentors. Kids are dropping out of high school at alarming rates so we're here to do our part by working to cut the high school dropout rate in half.

    – Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers

  • Bethea helping America's students
    WISH-TV - Online

    It's a lot of kids nowadays with single-parent households and really don't have that role model or a mentor—somebody who can take the time out to read to them or help them with their school work. I always said if I'm in a situation where I could go out and help, I would do that. That's why I'm really here.

    – Antoine Bethea, Indianapolis Colts

  • Mr. Rey goes to Washington
    Bengals News

    My parents always stressed that education is the biggest thing you need in life to be a success. Right up until the eighth grade I would go to the library every day after school. I had no choice.

    – Vinny Rey, Cincinnati Bengals

  • Charlie Batch Joins United Way of Allegheny County and TEAM NFL to Recruit Readers, Tutors & Mentors
    Steelers News

    I am proud to serve as the Pittsburgh Steelers United Way Ambassador since 2006 and excited to get Steelers fans involved in the volunteer opportunities United Way has to offer. I have benefited from mentoring relationships and want kids in Steeler Nation to have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

    – Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers

  • NY Jets #60 D'Brickashaw Ferguson partners with United Way

    When I was a kid I had to spend a lot of time indoors while other kids were in recess. A lot of that time was spent with teachers and I never forgot the attention they gave me. I have had a lot of great mentors in my life and I wanted to be one for someone else.

    – D'Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets

  • Lions' Cliff Avril and other NFL players fight the dropout rate
    WXYZ ABC 7

    Seeing what kids are going through now, you can only imagine how much worse it will be if we don't get involved. Kids are our future so we have to support them and get them on track.

    – Cliff Avril, Detroit Lions

  • Brandon Carr on
    KTBC (FOX - Austin)

    8:30AM 06/20/12
    Impressions: 19,599

    Brandon Carr photo



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