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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Sharrif Floyd shares his experiences to help foster children

By Andrew Krammer

With the help of a few current and former NFL players, an important cause will be brought to the league’s brightest lights during Sunday’s pregame coverage of Super Bowl 50.

Fifty miles north of Levi’s Stadium, where the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will end the season, is the Oakland headquarters for First Place For Youth, a non-profit organization that has helped foster children transition into adulthood since 1998.

Prior to kickoff, CBS reportedly plans to feature the ‘Game Changers,’ a grant program set up through the Bay Area’s Super Bowl 50 host committee to reward non-profit organizations in the area. First Place For Youth was awarded one of the $500,000 grants last year, and is expected to be part of the pregame coverage.

Now, eighteen years into helping vulnerable California youth move into adulthood, the non-profit launched the ‘When I Was 18? campaign, which brings awareness toward an often difficult and overlooked transition from a childhood in the foster care system to living on your own.

Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is one of the handful of celebrities to share their stories in up-close and personal videos as part of First Place For Youth’s campaign, with faces ranging from NFL players like Floyd, Kurt Warner, Tamba Hali and former No. 1 pick Alex Smith to actors and actresses like Danny Glover, Robin Weigert and Tony Goldwyn.

Floyd’s voice is as good as any on the topic, having survived a rough upbringing in Philadelphia where he was reportedly raised, mostly, by his grandmother and even stayed with a counselor from his George Washington High School. The same USA Today report notes a fundraising campaign at the high school created to send Floyd to the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio, a year before Floyd would become a five-star recruit and coveted prospect. He was suspended for two games in 2011 by the NCAA for benefits given to him by the man who would ultimately become his adoptive father.

Floyd just finished his third season with the Vikings. He was selected 23rd overall in 2013.

“I don’t have to be what I’ve seen all my life,” Floyd starts one of his videos for the ‘When I Was 18? campaign. “Life can be peaceful. Life can be great. And you can be great in life. You just have to put your mind to it, and stop worrying about what you’ve been through and start worrying about what you’re going to go through.”

Floyd’s vignettes can be found here and here.

Below is a three-minute video for the ‘When I Was 18? campaign.

The post Sharrif Floyd shares his experiences to help foster children appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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