Jared Goff & JG16 brand partners with Sharefest to add STEAM Lab at Detroit Lions Academy
In recent weeks, a JG16 STEAM Lab was unveiled at the Detroit Lions Academy, an accredited middle school for students needing to get back on a path toward high school graduation. Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff, who is a former first overall draft pick, and is in his 7th year in the NFL is noted for his passion to give back to the communities he plays in. Last season’s JG16 brand sales went toward creating an enriching learning space for the school. The JG16 STEAM lab focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math as part of the overall instruction at the Detroit Lions Academy. The grand opening for this STEAM Lab drew attention from local news reporters, who publicized the event throughout Detroit.
In attendance for the Grand Opening of the JG16 STEAM Lab was Goff himself, who noted, “It’s very cool to be in front of you guys, for us to see each other, and for you to know I’m not just someone on TV but I’m a real person, and hopefully someone who can be a light to you in some way,” said Jared. The ribbon cutting was a community affair with presence from “Roary” the Detroit Lions mascot, as well as a taco truck that brought smiles to everyone.
Goff sat down with students to learn about their interests and motivations while sharing from his own journey. After their discussion, one student reflected “It’s very inspiring because it pushes me to do things that I’ll never do, like football. I used to be scared to play football, but now, I’m going to play.” -Antonio Carter. The new STEAM Lab will be a place to foster the school’s curriculum that includes mentoring, after-school education, a green team, video animation and production, tutoring, student-leadership, sports and physical education.
Since joining the NFL, early childhood learning has been a key motivator for Goff’s work off the field and in the community. Prior to playing in Detroit, Goff dedicated his time, energy, and resources to the Inglewood Unified School District. This is Sharefest’s 3rd major project with JG16 and 1st time installing a STEAM lab outside of Los Angeles. Working together with Goff and his team, Sharefest came up with the layout of the room and overall design, then sent our team to Detroit to complete the makeover. Chad Mayer, Executive Director of Sharefest had this to say about Goff’s involvement with these projects, “we’re very fortunate to partner with Jared on this project, as we know the kind of morale and educational boost they have on the schools. These centers bring a spark of inspiration in children who look up to him as an athlete, and now they see first-hand how much he cares about their academics and future. Additionally funding generated from projects like these support our Workforce Development Programming for Sharefest youth. This partnership truly is a win-win!”
The recently created STEAM lab in Detroit is the second of its kind funded by the JG16 brand over the last two years, with the first one being in Inglewood. Goff’s heart goes beyond big moments like ribbon cutting events at learning centers, and into the day-to-day efforts of reading. During quarantine, Goff spent time in zoom meeting rooms held by local school districts reading to children, and listen to them read as well.
While elementary aged students are a priority, Goff and the JG16 Brand has continued to demonstrate his commitment to students throughout their educational lifespan, through college and even into their careers. The Detroit Lions Academy has a motto, “Where Second Chances Lead to Greater Comebacks!” This year, the JG16 brand is inspiring some of those comebacks by partnering with Give Merit, Inc, a Detroit Based Non-Profit, specifically their “FATE Program.” This program supports 175 Detroit students, who work on real-life business projects which allow them to discover that they can create their own futures. When a student completes the program, they are guaranteed up to $8,000 in college scholarships.
Four FATE students – Aaron, Keylee, Kyla and Torion – collaborated with Goff and his graphic designer, Skyler Holt, to develop a special collection of products that are available on the JG16 website. Goff personally matches everything that is sold through the JG16 brand, with that money going towards student scholarships. “When I started this JG16 project 4yrs ago, it grew pretty rapidly to the point where I realized I could use it as a charitable cause and be able to give back,” said Goff. Regarding the impact of these programs and scholarships, Goff said “we’re able to play on Sundays and do so many good things on the field but being able to have an impact off the field is a big thing for me and a big thing for a lot of us.”
The JG16 partnership with FATE is a big thing for everyone, especially the students. Kyla, FATE student with the class of 2024 had this to say, “The neat thing about today was meeting Jared. I’ve never met anyone in the NFL, ever. So today was kind of like history for me.” For Kyla and her classmates, this history was well documented, as Jared’s visit was covered by the Emmy Award winning HBO docu series “Hard Knocks.” The reaction from the students was a combination of excitement and awe. “Today was amazing, we got to talk with him about our designs and our ideas. He’s the starting quarterback of the Detroit Lions, and we got to talk with him about his life, his family and basically just get to know him.” -Torion, student, FATE Class of 2024.
“I was able to spend time with the students here, it was fun talking to them, getting to know them and their ideas, and to share my ideas, bounce them back and forth, to hear each other out on their vision for some of the pieces. Having those conversations, stimulating yourself, thinking about those things is so fun and so meaningful and something that I’m passionate about and I’m glad they are as well,” said Goff.
Sharefest delivers hope to disconnected youth by giving them the skills, resources, support and connections they need to mobilize from poverty.
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