Morgan Moses’ journey to the NFL was far from ideal. He excelled on the field at Meadowbrook High School in North Carolina where he was a two-time all-state, all-region, all-district selection, but off the field he struggled with low grades and staying on top of his academics. After originally committing to the University of Virginia, he played one year of prep football at Folk Union Military Academy in order to become academically qualified to attend Virginia. His time at Folk Union forced him to refocus on his education if he had any chance of further pursuing his NFL dreams.
Although he eventually overcame academic ineligibility, graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious University of Virginia and now starting as the Washington Redskins Offensive Tackle, it was Moses’ struggle with academics and unusual path to success that inspired him to launch the MOE Foundation.
The MOE Foundation seeks to motivate children in the Central/Northern VA and DC metropolitan areas through a number of educational efforts. One of their first initiatives, the Pride & Passion Competition Cup, recently took place at George C. Marshall High School in Northern Virginia. Students who participated in the competition are active members of their respective high school’s marketing clubs and/or DECA organization, an International Association of marketing students that provides members and advisors with development activities.
This unique competition brought together approximately twelve students from George C. Marshall and Lake Braddock High Schools to present a “real world” pitch to Morgan Moses, his family, and a team of executives focusing on new marketing and public relations opportunities surrounding Moses as a local athlete and philanthropist. Each school represented “their own business” in the competition.
“I never had anybody do anything like this when I was in school,” Moses shared with the students. “Once I finally started working hard, it was too late. If I had this kind of guidance earlier in my childhood, who knows where I could have been. I may not have had to take the course of going to military school.”
The students took full advantage of the occasion, bringing their “A” game and offering a wide range of ideas to promote the MOE Foundation from football camps and reading programs to branding and advertising opportunities. They were also dressed to impress in bow ties, sport jackets, and business suits. It was clear that they were prepared and ready to show the judges how they could help take the MOE Foundation to the next level. Not only was Moses and his team impressed, they were blown away by the students’ effort.
“I came to this competition expecting fantasy but you guys came in here with real-life ideas that we can actually apply.” Moses told the students. “To see the way you guys are already thinking at this age, I want to take my hat off to you. You did an amazing job. I wish I was thinking like this when I was younger.”
After both teams presented, the judges deliberated and ultimately named George C. Marshall High School’s marketing team the inaugural Pride & Passion Competition Cup winners. The team received an autographed jersey and a plaque for the Pride & Passion Award presented by the MOE Foundation.
“It was huge for our students to be apart of this competition,” said Stephanie Harmony, Marketing Teacher and DECA advisor at George C. Marshall High School. “In the curriculum we teach, we always try to simulate what’s happening in the real-world, and sports and entertainment field but the fact that they actually got to do it is huge. We just can’t replicate that in the classroom so this is an experience they’ll never forget.”
“I think the kids did a great job,” Maurice Covington, Executive Director of the MOE Foundation, told Pro Player Insiders. “A lot of the ideas they brought to the table are things we have talked about but they brought a new perspective. We definitely want to hear from the young people we are trying to affect so we are going to use their feedback to move forward and take this Foundation to the next level.”
There may have only been one winning team, but the overall message Moses hoped to instill in all the students is to stay focused and keep working towards their future career goals.
“The MOE Foundation is all about motivating others through education,” Moses told Pro Player Insiders. “For me being 24 years old and fresh out of college, I can relate to these kids because I understand the struggles they go through with time management, applying for schools, or whatever it is. It’s better coming from me then coming from their parents. I want them to say this guy is doing what he wants to do in the NFL, he has a Foundation, and he’s giving back to the community…why can’t I?
On twitter follow @Moe_Foundation Special thanks and S/O to @melwadd at @selectsports
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