Daily Sports Smile: Lions FB Jason Cabinda inspires local students through weekly visits

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda understands the value of a good education and wants to pass it on. Each week, Cabinda visits with local students to inspire and advocate for STEM-based learning.

Every Tuesday, Cabinda makes the rounds to Detroit-area schools and shares his story with students. On a certain visit, students also got to spend time with fellow Lions Tim Boyle and Amani Oruwariye. The Lions trio helped make the day memorable with games and prizes.

In September, Cabinda also donated over 800 STEM-based books for the students and presented his Jason Cabinda Awards. The special recognition celebrates students that exhibited academic excellence, consistent attendance and good behavior. Teammates Frank Ragnow and Tracy Walker were also there, giving books and smiles to the kids.

“I think it’s so important in letting these kids know that we care about them and we want them to do well,” Cabinda said at his September event. “We want to set them up for as much success as they could possibly want.”

In addition to his youth initiatives, Cabinda has partnered with nonprofit Athletes For Charity. He has served as a guest principal and sponsored over 100 kids and families to attend Lions games.

This month, Cabinda played interactive math games and launched an essay contest for students. Each initiative helps highlight the importance of a strong education.

“I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and I want to show the youth of Detroit that we here at the Detroit Lions organization are their village,” Cabinda said in a statement. “We want to see them achieve great heights in life by providing them with the resources, opportunity, and motivation they need to rise.”

The NFL Players Association has taken notice of Cabinda’s work. He was awarded the Week 7 NFLPA Community MVP. As part of the honor, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to Athletes For Charity.

Cabinda will also be eligible for the 2022 Alan Page Community Award. The special honor is the highest award the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. He joins NFL superstars Myles Garrett, Justin Simmons and Darren Waller, among others to win Community MVP this season.

“He’s the type of guy that can change the world, man,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Cabinda’s community work. “He’s all heart, he puts his time focus, and his money where his mouth is…  He doesn’t do it for the recognition he does it because he truly cares.”

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