Legendary Hall of Fame quarterback, Troy Aikman likes to win. He is about to wrap up his role as Chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas' annual campaign and he is on track to shatter previous records, in money raised and overall reach of people.
It is showing up and actually reaching people that Aikman says he really loves.
Recently, Aikman visited with eight graders in South Dallas at an event called, "STEM in the Schoolyard," inspiring kids in fields that involve science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
He told them that life was about making good choices.
"It’s worked for me. If kids know right from wrong and make good decisions, it’s amazing how many doors open," Aikman said.
Focusing on STEM programs, he says gives kids the tools to propel them into future careers and thrive.
"I am convinced that years from now there’s gonna be some kids that look back on today and say, ‘this is what got me excited about science or technology or engineering of math.'”
For Aikman, it is personal. Dallas is his community and he says he wants to see kids succeed.
"There are some wonderful kids that just need a chance and hopefully some of these things that we are doing with the United Way will help these kids for the rest of their lives,” Aikman said.
Jennifer Sampson, the CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, says Aikman has left a lasting imprint on the DFW community.
"Well, he definitely brings the star power, but he also brings heart power. He really cares about ensuring that his home, Dallas, Texas is the best place for all of us to live, work and raise our families. He doesn’t just invest. He stands shoulder to shoulder and volunteers just like he is today, with these students,” Sampson said.
Aikman says there is pride in the work he has done with the United Way, but says what he's gained means so much more.
"I think it’s just made me hopeful more than anything else. I’ve always been optimistic and look at the good in people and I think I come out of this saying, ‘Wow, I am really hopeful for these kids.’”