NFL Player Kelvin Beachum and Chevron Score a Touchdown with Local Teachers
On the field, NFL player Kelvin Beachum is an offensive tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, protecting his quarterback from defensive players.
Off the field, he is an ambassador for STEM, helping to bring education and opportunities to students throughout the country. On Monday, just days before Super Bowl 51, Beachum and Chevron set out to change the lives of some students and teachers in Houston.
What began as a normal day for Love Elementary School teachers and students was anything but that. Little did students know that Beachum was across town fueling up at a Chevron station in anticipation of a day-long road trip.
“I’m here getting ready to surprise some kids and teachers with supplies and funding for STEM programs and projects,” said Beachum as he grabbed some snacks for the ride. “We partnered with DonorsChoose.org to fund classroom projects across the city.”
DonorsChoose.org is a web-based, crowd-funding platform where teachers can request the materials and experiences they need most for their classrooms in the hopes that donors — friends, family and companies will help fund their projects.
That’s just what happened when Love Elementary School principal walked into Nicole Perry’s second grade classroom with Beachum, Chevron engineer Calicia Johnson, state-of-the-art virtual reality goggles and a check for $51,000 to provide funding for classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org.
“It’s because of teachers, teachers like you, that make this all possible,” Beachum said as tears streamed down Perry’s face. “I love making teachers cry.”
After helping the kids try on the virtual reality goggles, signing autographs and helping with a math lesson, Beachum and Johnson headed to the Children’s Museum of Houston, where they met teachers from Houston and Midland to talk about STEM best practices, emerging technology and teaching methods that can be used to get kids excited about future STEM careers.
Chevron’s Calicia Johnson spoke to the teachers about the importance of STEM education at an early age and what inspired her to become an engineer.
While the Super Bowl creates a great opportunity to engage with kids, Beachum said, it’s the continued engagement and community partnerships that can leave a lasting mark on underfunded and underrepresented communities.
“Partnerships like the one we have with Chevron are really important in education,” said Jason Osborne, the innovation officer with Ector ISD in the Permian Basin. “They enable us to make learning tangible for kids by connecting teachers and students with the ‘real world’.”
The last stop of the day was at Southwest Middle and High Schools, where Beachum and Johnson met with students and surprised teachers by funding for their DonorsChoose.org projects.
Chevron is one of the founding sponsors of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and Monday’s event was just one part of Chevron’s efforts to create excitement around Super Bowl LI while helping promote the importance of STEM.
“Teachers have the ability to teach kids about the importance of STEM education,” said Beachum. “I can inspire them to learn and understand the excitement they can bring to the table.”