NFL's Jake Bargas wins big in Boca Raton
Sometimes it takes just one person to share a few moments of their day to make quite an impact. A little something like that took place in South Florida and let's just say it was the best game plan of them all
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BOCA RATON, FL -- There is nothing like a little game of football, whether you are a seasoned pro or a bit newer to the game.
On one Saturday in February, the pro on Patch Reef Park's field was Minnesota Vikings fullback Jake Bargas.
But it was what he was signing at the Boca Raton city park that made all the difference.
Bargas caught up with an eighth grader who has been part of the Best Foot Forward organization for quite some time. Best Foot Forward supports foster care youth by providing academic guidance and mentorship.
"I just wanted to be able to come back and help kids out and kind of provide that guidance and mentorship and do whatever I can to help, help them progress," says Bargas.
Bargas, home for a visit before heading to California for training, jumped at the opportunity to introduce the young man to the game of football.
Bargas took him through all of the field positions and together, they ran a handful of football routes before Bargas pulled out new Vikings gear and a signed football.
Foster mom Adelle Sumner says it is relationships like this that mean the most.
"Best Foot Forward allows him to soar even more," says Sumner.
Sumner and her husband have two biological children and they often foster up to four additional children at a time. She says she is grateful for Best Foot Forward's support, from help at school to help funding that next pair of cleats.
"The kudos from the tutors has been amazing. I think that’s been the biggest reward... just for them to give them those words of encouragement mean so much," adds Sumner.
For Jake Bargas, playing in the NFL is a dream come true.
"It’s a lifelong dream, you know. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was get to play ball and getting to live that dream and play a kids game as a job... is just a dream. Every day is a blessing and every opportunity I get to just step on the field and play the game I love is really just a tremendous opportunity for me and I feel so blessed and fortunate to play the game I love," says Bargas.
As for his new 'teammate,' you could say a day like this with Bargas is a dream come true as well.
"There are really no words. Relationships are everything in our program. We are just in our 11th year and we have volunteers and donors who have been here since 2010 and they are the people who have made a difference and they are changing kids lives," says Best Foot Forward Co-Founder and CEO Donna Biase.
Best Foot Forward is celebrating its 10th anniversary by hosting a virtual event - Best Foot Forward Bash, A Decade of Change - on Saturday, March 13 at 6:30pm. For more details and to register to join the virtual event, click here. If you cannot attend but would like to make a donation to Best Foot Forward and help change the lives of children in foster care, click here.
"We always tell our kids that the education is one thing that can't be taken away from you. Unfortunately a lot of our kids move, they go to different schools and don’t really have a sense of belonging or sense of accomplishment or even something that’s their own so we try to show them that education is something that no one can take away from them," says Biase.
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