Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints failed to qualify for Super Bowl LI, but that didn’t stop the philanthropic quarterback from a making an impact while representing the NFL in Houston.
Brees surprised area middle-schoolers during festivities for the big game at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The kids, who range in age from 10-14, are part of a computer mentoring program put on by Texas Southern University and the Verizon Foundation that enhances their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, better known as STEM.
Rewarding them for their hard work and dedication, TSU alum and Good Morning America co-host, Michael Strahan, surprised them with an educational trip to the Super Bowl festivities in downtown Houston.
“To acknowledge and celebrate all that you have accomplished, GMA and the Verizon Foundation want to take you on a field trip,” Strahan told the kids via a video message.
While at the fan event, the students, who aspire for careers in fields such as cardiology and technical engineering, got a different look at the game thanks to Verizon engineers.
Then they got another surprise when former league MVP and Super Bowl champion Brees made a surprise visit in person.
In between taking selfies, playing virtual reality games, and signing footballs for each student, Brees shared his first-hand experience on how STEM helped him develop as a player.
“When I’m on the sideline and I come off, I immediately look at a tablet and I’m looking at the plays that we just ran on the field,” Brees told the starstruck kids.
“And so if it weren’t for the people that were helping to design those programs that make that happen, then I wouldn’t be able to have the success that we have as a team,” he added.
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) February 4, 2017
Brees attended one of the top engineering colleges in the country, Purdue University, and he understands the importance on the continued advancement and education of STEM, especially with youth.
“To be in a position where you can have an influence on them and be a role model for them in something that’s outside the game of football specifically, I think it’s cool because here we are talking about science and technology and math,” Brees said.