Every year, we see football players on the field reaching truly remarkable feats. But all too often, we forget how these athletes continue to give back to their communities, even off the playing field. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® recognizes these student-athletes and celebrates their dedication to making the world a better place. The following list of nominees are a shining example of next-level philanthropic work.
1. Honorable Nominees Chosen for Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
Every year, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) come together to honor the spirit of volunteerism with the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. This prestigious award recognizes some of the most inspirational and dedicated student-athletes from across college football. This year, 22 standout student-athletes from every division have been selected among hundreds of nominees – from NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to NCAA Division III.
These select players truly stand out from the crowd when it comes to their academic achievements and their dedication to serving their communities. They are student-athletes that are leaders in their respective locker rooms, but also leave lasting impressions on those they help through community service.
- Stanford University’s Bronson Ojomoh: Bronson is a defensive tackle for the Stanford football team, but he has also made compassion and service a mainstay of his Stanford career, volunteering for organizations such as Stanford GIVES and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- University of Alabama’s Parker Bearden: Parker is a wide receiver for the Crimson Tide and also a volunteer with the United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He has over 200 hours of community service in Tuscaloosa alone and has been a mentor to the local youth community.
- Virginia Tech University’s Greg Stroman: Greg is a defensive back for the Hokies and an active volunteer in the Blacksburg community. He leads team events with Habitat for Humanity and spends his free time visiting elementary schools and speaking to students about the importance of education.
The list of 22 nominees spans the entire NCAA and includes exceptional student-athletes from Division I FBS, Division I FCS, Division II, and Division III. All of this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® nominees are an honor to the spirit of volunteerism!
2. Meet the Unsung Heroes Changing Lives
There are many people in the world who are making profound changes in the lives of others – and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Women from around the globe are contributing to better-educated, more robust communities, and what they are achieving should be celebrated.
- Angela Essien – the Nigerian innovator has introduced an alternative energy source to many impoverished communities in western Africa. She helps people switch to a more affordable and cleaner energy source.
- Dipti Bhagat – this social activist from India is responsible for transforming 12 villages, providing basic amenities like schools and sanitation facilities. Her organization is making a massive difference in the lives of the villagers.
- Muhammed Yunus – this Bangladeshi economist has been affirming the importance of micro-finance since the late 1970s, advocating for a poverty-eradicating economic revolution.
- Safiya Said – she serves as an agent of change for girls in rural Tanzania. As a campaigner, she educates other girls about their basic human rights and works to hold government leaders accountable.
These inspiring women are giving people who have been oppressed or marginalized a much-needed boost, working to combat poverty and inequality. These unsung heroes have accomplished so much, despite all the obstacles they have faced – and it truly makes them inspirations to us all.
3. Selfless Service: Celebrating Humanitarianism in College Football
The world of college football is no stranger to giving back, and it’s always a sight to behold when gridiron heroes plant the seeds of service within their communities. Acts of selfless service can often be seen in the form of charity games, volunteer opportunities, and supply drives. Despite the competitive spirit, there’s a strong support system amongst the teams and their alumni.
The student athletes understand the importance of the task and consistently rise to the occasion when called on to help others. Helping people in need exemplifies the importance of giving, and humanitarians on campus embrace this culture and bring a positive light to collegiate sports. Each initiative serves as an opportunity to both give assistance and strengthen the bonds of community.
- Charitable events and drives
- Volunteer opportunities
- Prioritizing helping others
4. AFCA Empowers Communities to Take Action
The American Financial Counseling Association (AFCA) works to financially empower communities through proactive approaches to finances. AFCA provides resources and guidance to help individuals and families create and carry out personalized budget and saving strategies that improve their economic well-being.
Benefits to Communities
- AFCA provides free financial literacy courses and counseling to help people tackle their financial issues head-on
- AFCA also offers community-based activities like trainings, seminars, and webinars where people can receive advice from professionals in finance, economics, and other related fields
- AFCA offers financial programs that empower individuals to not only create financial plans, but to also manage their financial lives responsibly
- AFCA allows communities to come together and share financial resources to further everyone’s financial well-being
AFCA’s mission to financially empower communities creates an atmosphere that encourages proactive financial decision-making and fosters sustainable economic growth. By investing and providing resources in local, regional, and global communities, AFCA is helping to create resilient communities with a better financial future.
5. Athletes Who Inspire: The Stories Behind the Nominations
Lebron James – Growing up in poverty in Cleveland, Ohio, Lebron James was a seemingly unlikely success story, yet he committed himself to being the best he could be and made a name for himself in the world of basketball. He has now used his wealth and success to give back to the community and to help those less fortunate in the area. He’s an inspiration to anyone looking to make something of themselves.
Kobe Bryant – When Kobe Bryant first stepped on the court, the world of sports was changed forever. His dedication to the game and commitment to excellence show that greatness can be achieved if you put your mind to it. His incredible success and work ethic will remain an inspiration to generations of athletes to come.
Usain Bolt – Usain Bolt’s record-breaking sprints earned him the moniker of the “Fastest Man Alive”. His unique skills and ability to push himself to the limit have made him one of the most inspiring athletes of all time. He is a living example of the power of a first-rate work ethic and determination to succeed.
Ronda Rousey – Ronda Rousey is proof that anyone can overcome adversity and become a champion. She has ascended the heights of the UFC with her fierce determination and refusal to accept defeat. Her desire to fight for what she believes in has inspired many to follow their dreams and be the best they can be.
Muhammad Ali – Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali transcended sports. He dedicated his life to inspiring others and spreading peace, justice, and understanding around the world. His dedication to charity and justice will remain an example to look up to for many generations to come.
6. Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®: Beyond the Stadium, Impacts Lives
The Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team® is an annual award given to celebrate college football players for their commitment to helping others in their communities and beyond. Recognized for their charitable service, outreach, and selfless deeds, members of the Good Works Team® devote themselves to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Each of the 22 team members, one from each NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision conference, is an exemplary role model for their peers, embodying the impact of sports beyond the field. They have dedicated countless hours of giving back to others providing healthcare, supporting education initiatives, helping the homeless, working with children’s charities, volunteering to help the disabled and much more.
- Justin Hall – Conference USA: Participates in a “Superhero” campaign, inspiring children to stay active
- Chris rowland – Sun Belt: Volunteers regularly at a homeless shelter in Nashville, TN
These are just a few of the selfless acts of kindness performed by members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. While they may go unnoticed on the field, the ripples of their work have far reaching and life changing effects. These acts speak more about the character of the players than any statistic or award. They inspire millions to use sports as a tool for good and to help those in need.
The nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® are a remarkable group of individuals, and it’s inspiring to learn about all the incredible charitable work they are doing in their communities. We look forward to finding out who will join their ranks among the most inspiring athletes in college football.