PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia native and Denver Broncos safety Will Parks is in town this week visiting schools and giving inspirational messages to students.
Parks doesn’t wait for his phone to ring for personal appearances. He reaches out to schools in his hometown as part of a pay-it-forward vow he made when he was a boy with dreams of playing in the NFL.
“I always told myself if I was in a position to make an impact toward the youth then I would do it,” he said. “I’m in a platform now where I can do it and I can do it at an all-time high.”
The 24-year-old graduated from Germantown High and admits that he probably would have restricted his appearances to his alma mater, if the school hadn’t closed.
— Paul Kurtz (@kurtzpaul) March 29, 2019
“I’m still kinda sad about that to this day. The fact that I don’t have a school to go to, to give back to show my support. But it’s all good,” he said. “It probably happened for a reason, probably tellin’ me to go to every school cause if Germantown was still around I probably would’ve went just there. But being able to make the connection with everybody in Philadelphia is vital to what’s going on in Philadelphia now.”
His message to students at Simon Gratz High School is simple and direct.
“Tuck your shirt in,” he said. “That’s little gestures, bro, you’re not a fool for doing that. Did you do your homework first, think of things like that because it’s that small. If your mom says, ‘Yo Tyreek, take out the trash.’ Those little things lead to big things.”
You really hit on the little things, and those little things bring people out their loop, Kurtz asked.
“Yes sir,” Parks replied.
Cause we get into loops, right?
“Oh yeah. Big ones,” he said. “It’s crazy you say that because I took my little brother yesterday on the Gratz track, and he’s goin through a lot of things right now. I was like, ‘Hey bro, if you can do all the little things to embark on your life, then that’s what it is that you have to do.’”
Parks goes on to say, “If one kid listens, then that one kid, if he really understood what I was saying — he’s going to help another kid, then I’m good. But I can’t be done, I have to go to another school and do the same thing.”