It was a championship day for 160 students at By The Hand Club For Kids when outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Sam Acho, and six of his teammates showed up at two clubs in Austin Monday to visit the Brain Lab, read books, share insights, have a lively Q & A, hang out and have a good time.
“Our kids were thrilled to see these ‘monsters of the midway’ stroll into their classrooms and share valuable time and insights with them,” said Donnita Travis, founder and executive director of By The Hand. “I think it was a lot of fun for the Chicago Bears as well.”
Accompanying Acho were his ‘band of brothers’ that included Trey Burton, tight end, Rashaad Coward, defensive lineman, Howard Jones, linebacker, Jonathan Mincy, cornerback Cody Parkey, placekicker, and Roy Robertson-Harris, defensive end.
At the By The Hand Club Moving Everest at 416 N. Laramie Ave., the players engaged with 80 kids in the Brain Lab and then split up to read books to the students in various classrooms. As they often do on the football field, Acho and Coward teamed up, but this time in a classroom, and read a book together to the kids, who were fascinated.
At the By The Hand Club Austin, across the street at 415 N. Laramie Ave., Acho told stories to another 80 Jr. High students of life in the National Football League and how important it is for young students to do well in school and told them, “You, too, can accomplish your dreams.” Acho then answered many questions from the students.
Acho is the Bears’ 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, which represents the best of the National Football League’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact. He is actively interested in social justice issues, specifically education and criminal justice reform. During the offseason, he visited Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center and Louisiana State Penitentiary, did a police ride-along in District 007 and had an opportunity to meet with senators in D.C. about social justice issues.
Acho and his teammates make regular appearances at local schools and hospitals with the Chicago Bears community relations department and Bears School Outreach program. Acho also serves as an NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 Player Ambassador and American Diabetes Association Team Tackle member, through which he has lobbied on Capitol Hill to help raise awareness for diabetes.
Additionally, Acho actively supports Living Hope Christian Ministries, which his parents founded in 1989; Dr. Sonny Acho and Christy Acho return to their native Nigeria each year with a team of volunteer doctors, surgeons, nurses, volunteers and pharmacists to provide free medical care. Acho earned a double bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the McCombs School of Business Honors program at the University of Texas.
We look forward to their next visit to By The Hand. Watch the NBC video recap by clicking on the link below.