Buffalo Bills Captain and starting Safety George Wilson took a trip back to school this past Friday, this time as a special guest.
Wilson was part of the "NFL Canada -Take a Player to School Contest," a sweepstakes that awards four national prize winners to take an NFL Player to school for the day and team merchandise for his/her family.
Currently in its 5th year, the "NFL Canada-Take a Player to School Contest" is a national online entry sweepstakes targeted at 7-12 year-old children in Canada. The program is geared toward providing students with an NFL player for the day, talking to the kids about topics spanning from the importance of a healthy active lifestyle to goal setting and anti-bullying.
Twelve year-old Tikal Charles-Taylor was afforded the opportunity to bring Wilson to school. The day started out at the Taylor residence, where Tikal's mother June Charles made her signature "Breakfast of Champions" for Taylor and Wilson. Charles cooks "Breakfast of Champions" for Taylor on big, important days.
"We had pancakes, bacon, sausage and fresh fruit," said Wilson. "Our morning was off to a great start with good food and good people."
Taylor and Wilson then took a chauffeured ride to the Deer Park Jr & Senior Public School, where the pair greeted Taylor's principal, classmates and teachers.
"They had a ton of energy and passion," said Wilson. "You could see the excitement on the kids' faces. It is great to see how much the Canadian fans support our Buffalo Bills organization."
Over 360 students in grades 1-8 gathered for a school assembly, where Wilson took the stage addressing and giving advice on key topics affecting young adults.
"I always try to speak with kids about goal setting and having a vision or direction they want to take in life," said Wilson. "In order to achieve those goals you have to be healthy. I try to encourage kids to put the right things in their body as well as being physically active for 60 minutes a day so they can be healthy enough to pursue their dreams."
Wilson then led students through a 'Play 60 Class' including activities and drills similar to those he utilizes as a Safety in the NFL. Afterwards, Wilson signed autographs for the participants.
Community outreach efforts and working with children is where Wilson finds his passion off the field. Being able to accompany a fan to school and speak to kids about leading a positive lifestyle is important to Wilson.
"I came from a similar upbringing," said Wilson. "I was a public school kid, and I know what it's like to work hard in school to pursue your dreams. I wanted to show them that they can achieve their dreams the same way I did, through hard work, perseverance, patience and sacrifice."