QB Terrelle Pryor poses for a photo with the group at Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Recently, rookie QB Terrelle Pryor visited the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center in Oakland, Calif., to speak to families about overcoming adversity. It was an intimate event, during which Pryor spoke to the group about how he has overcome the same challenges that they are facing today.
According to the City of Oakland's website, the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center is a transitional living center in the heart of Oakland that offers emergency housing and food services. The center is run by the city of Oakland and is part of Oakland's Providing Access To Housing strategy (PATH). PATH is a plan that has been adopted by the city as an initiative to end homelessness in the city over the next fifteen years. The center is for families that are experiencing hardships and need temporary assistance provided to their family.
Pryor immediately connected with his audience as he spoke about his difficult path to becoming a professional athlete. Pryor answered questions about what some of his challenges were in reaching his dream. Trinh Ho, Manager of Children Services at the Henry Robinson Multi-Services Center, noticed Pryor's connection with the audience. "They are really appreciative to have someone here who can really relate to them," said Ho.
"We don't really get stars coming here to interact with them," said Ho. "I also thought it was great that he actually shared his story and the obstacles he overcame."
Pryor sat in the front of the room answering questions and sharing his personal stories. The rookie spoke from the heart relaying his key message of pushing through difficult times and overcoming challenges. One mother told Pryor how important and inspiring it was to hear that he wanted to finish his degree even though he has already reached his goal of being in the NFL.
The kids were inspired to keep reaching for their goals and to continue education because it lasts forever. "It was great to come out to the Oakland community and talk to a few kids who don't have a lot, but are still proud," said Pryor. "Being in a group home, it's good to come out and reach out to them and to have some type of similar perspective on some things. It was good to see them smile."
The audience was grateful for Pryor's visit and Ho thought the visit was a success. "A lot of the kids here, they go through the same struggle and they don't have hope," said Ho. "With having Terrelle here it raises a lot of hope for them and I think that they're really going to try to be like him. He's a real role model."
Pryor was humbled by the experience and wanted to let the audience know that he truly cares about the Oakland community. "I want to reach out so they can know me as a person and they can know me under the helmet."