Super Bowl champ and HISD grad surprise students

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Former Houston Astros Manager Marquis Donnell “Bo” Porter and wide receiver Brandon LaFell of the Super Bowl championship New England Patriots surprised students at Revere Middle School on Feb. 13, when they visited the campus to talk to them about what it takes to be successful.

Porter and his wife founded the Stacey & Bo Porter SELF Foundation in 2012 to improve the lives of under-privileged, under-served students through sports, education, life skills, and faith. “Stacey and I give back because we know what it’s like to have nothing,” Porter said. “We visit all the schools who participate in our foundation’s after-school program.”

The SELF Afterschool Program began their collaboration with HISD in Spring 2014 at Key Middle School and extended it to Revere and Welch in Fall 2014. Participating students receive tutoring, academic enrichment, life skills activities, field trips, sports activities, and spiritual enrichment.

“I wish when I was in elementary and middle school, someone successful had come back to talk to me,” said LaFell, who is a graduate of HISD’s Gregory-Lincoln Middle School and Lamar High School. He preferred not to talk about winning the 2015 Super Bowl. “I just want to blend in and be a positive role model,” he said. LaFell is working with Porter’s foundation, but he and his wife Kristen have their own nonprofit, The LaFell Group.

At a student assembly, Porter and LaFell explained four key elements of success to students:

  • Goal-setting: Set your goals and put an action plan in place to achieve them; revisit them twice every day.
  • Education: This is the ultimate “game-changer,” and it will empower your success.
  • Presentation: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and remember that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • Networking: Form lasting relationships because you never know who might be the one to help you get the job you want.

“We are here to give students the tools they need to create a better tomorrow,” Porter said.