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Friday, July 19, 2024

Fight for Life – Foundation of NFL’s Marlin Jackson

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Marlin Jackson, former defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles, has built his foundation, Fight for Life, to inspire kids and give them the proper tools to strive for success, whether it is educationally, socially, or emotionally. Jackson launched Fight for Life in 2007 after a cousin suggested he build a community center. This foundation uses athletic and wellness exercises to provide kids with teamwork skills as well as a role model for several aspects of life where youth may be disadvantaged.

“I started this foundation because of what I was able to overcome in my life, situations and how I felt. I want to help kids side step the obstacles I had to face and figure out who they are sooner in life,” said Jackson.

Jackson was born in Youngstown, Ohio. and raised in a single-parent home by his mother in Sharon, Pa. Jackson grew up without a relationship with his father and his mother struggled with drug addiction to crack cocaine. He grew up with his brother, but struggled throughout his childhood trying to find the comfort he needed from home. Jackson moved in with relatives, and unfortunately after witnessing their divorce, he continued to move from home to home. He welcomed into the home of his high school football coach and his wife during his senior year of high school.

Jackson recently hosted Seal the Deal, a free football fundamentals camp, through USA Football FUNdamentals at Pike High School, bringing kids ages 7-14 out to learn the sports’ basics in an age-appropriate manner.

“We’re trying to create an environment where we touch their minds, and with touching their minds we touch their hearts giving them a chance,” stated Jackson.

While at the camp, kids practiced drills such as passing, catching and running skills all in a non-contact setting. At the end of the camp the two best teams selected played battled for the championship title. Many kids were seen with smiles on their faces because of the positive environment where they were given the opportunity to interact with new people and former NFL player.

Providing kids with options like Seal the Deal can go a long way for kids who may not have that guidance at home giving them the positive incentive to stay on the right track and seek for more in their lives said Jackson.

The former NFL player hopes to grow the foundation to touch the minds and hearts of kids in communities.

“Right now we’re really thin with the foundation; on day-to-day bases I handle a lot of things myself. In order to expand and reach more communities I have to get more hands involved, as far as administrative.”

Fight for Life has another program called Building Dreams, providing kids with similar tools, such as social, emotional and learning skills, rewarding them from their positive behavior in the classroom.

Jackson plans on continuing the camps to bring more people out and reach further locations in the country. Building Dreams has already expanded across the country and will take place in Colorado this summer.

For more info visit Fightforlifefoundation.org for news updates as well as future camp dates.

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