JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Myles Jack may only be 23 years old, but he’s wise beyond what’s listed on his birth certificate.
On Tuesday, the Jaguars linebacker held a back-to-school bowling event for 120 students from the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida and Police Athletic League of Jacksonville.
Each student also received a new backpack to support their return to school.
Jack beat the odds and has carved out a career in the NFL. However, he wanted to make sure that these kids know that there are other careers worth pursuing.
“I wish somebody would’ve told me, 'Myles, you can be a lawyer or doctor,'” said Jack. “All I saw growing up on TV as a kid was watching sports. It’s worked out great for me. It’s been very positive in my life. But I feel like we need more lawyers and doctors. We need more positive influences, especially with most of these kids being minority children. To be able to be heard and tell them that they can accomplish those things is powerful. To give them a chance to feel like they can actually go to school and become something bigger than just a football player or basketball player, that was my goal for this event.”
Jack recently started his own candle making company Handmade 44 Jack. He’s used the proceeds from the company to put on events like the one Tuesday at Main Event Jacksonville. He also included one of his homemade candles in each child's backpack.
“Sports gets treated like a priority over education,” said Jack. “I think we need to put our focus back on education. We want to make it cool for kids to go to school. It’s cool to learn. Because when you become an adult, nobody wants to be dumb. We want to be smart. I’m glad this is a priority in the lives of these kids. To have a part in that has been very cool. To give them a book bag and supplies has been awesome. I just wanted to show them that they can be whatever they want to be. That’s the least I could do.”
Training camp starts Thursday for the Jaguars. Over the off-season, Jack has remade his body by hiring a personal chef and cutting out all dairy and fast food.
“My personal goal is to get 150 tackles,” said Jack. “That’s my goal and what I’ve been working for all summer. I’ve been watching film and tapes. I’ve been getting my mind right and working on my shoulders to get as strong as I can. I’m ready for the task ahead. I’m extremely excited about the start of the season.”
And as he gets even wiser with age, Jack said he's starting to figure out what's important and what's not important.
"Giving back, my family, God -- those are the main things, and obviously football. Those are the main things," Jack said. "If I put my energy towards that, that'd be the best way to make my mark -- not only in this community, but in my time here on Earth."
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