RICHMOND, Va. -- Life lessons from the street gave K'Von Wallace the push he needed to succeed on the field.
The former Highland Springs football standout said he wants people to use his gifts and his voice to help young people who may be struggling through difficult times.
The mental toughness Wallace shows on the field when he suits up for the Philadelphia Eagles is what the Richmond native used to overcome challenges when he was growing up.
He said his mom encouraged him early on that he could be somebody and to grab hold of his dreams. It's this inspiration that he's excited to share with hundreds of kids during his upcoming inaugural football camp.
"I didn't want to just make it for me. I always kept the youth in mind. Always kept Richmond, Virginia in mind, my community in mind. To just go back and empower those kids to be somebody because they are somebody," Wallace said.
It's not lost on Wallace how difficult these past weeks have been for local youth who are struggling with rampant violence surrounding them. He plans to share some of his personal struggles growing up in Richmond.
"My circumstances were unfortunate as well. I grew up in that same rough environment where there were gunshots at night. But just know that no matter what, you can keep going, stay focused, stay in school, stay in the books. Stay with the right crowd because just being around the wrong person can get you hurt," Wallace said.
Wallace said he's not doing this alone. He's thankful to be teaming up with Truist Financial to bring the free football camp to boys and girls ages six through 16.
"Them believing in me to make an impact in this community was huge and I feel like they put big trust in me. The fact that kids see something in me and they will listen. They see a vision in me to be somebody and to make an impact on these kids," Wallace said.
"Our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities. Our goal is to partner with impactful organizations like K'Vons that share our commitment to care and enable us to activate in our communities," McSweeney said.
K'Von hopes the campers will walk away with much more than a day on the field. He believes they will walk away with hope for the future, knowing if he can make it despite tough circumstances, so can they.
"I'm excited to go back into my community and show these kids, you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard," Wallace said.
The K'Von Wallace free football camp will be held at Highland Springs on June 11 from 8 a.m. to noon. Though the camp is filled, there is a waiting list and organizers say that the week of the camp, they will have a social media giveaway to give another camper the chance to participate.