Rashad Jennings was a self-described short, chubby, overweight kid, who wore glasses had asthma and a 0.6 GPA at one point in time. No that is not a typo, his GPA was zero point six. Not to mention, he was the 5th string running back on his high school team. His only chance of playing in the NFL at that time, was when he played Madden with his friends.
However, his seemingly hopeless future took a pivot after his first glance of playing time his junior year.
Fast forward to today Jennings, defied all the odds, and is using his prominence as a running back in the NFL to support those facing similar hurdles through The Rashad Jennings Foundation; which emphasizes literacy, promotes healthy eating habits and provides mentorship.
“There’s nothing special about me, I’m just in a special position.”
The Rashad Jennings Foundation has three pillar programs: The Reading Challenge, which aims to ignite the excitement of reading in today’s youth; Camp 180, which teaches the fundamentals of football and to live an active lifestyle; The Locker Room Project, an initiative to empower student-athletes through mentorship. Recently, the foundation hosted its second annual ‘Giant Night of Comedy’ to raise funds in support of these programs.
There were auctions and giveaways, but most importantly there were animated comedians who put on an exhilarating performance. Host Kevin Brown, better known as Dot Com on 30 Rock, set the pace for comedians like Mark Normand, Drew Fraser and Rip Michaels from Wild and Out and others to do their thing.
To top off the night, Jennings thanked everyone who came out to support his foundation and expressed how humbling their support is. He also assured all the proceeds go directly to the foundation and never anyones salary.
“That comes out of my pocket,” he says. “And I wanted to be able to authentically say that.”