In the inner cities across America, young African-American boys look to sports as away out of their unfortunate situations of poverty, violence and drugs. These kids didn’t ask to be born or placed into bad environments, but they have to play with the hand that they were dealt and for the spades fans out there, some children made their ‘books’, while most of them get ‘set’.
Baltimore native, Keion Carpenter ran a ‘Boston’ with his hand and had a successful seven year career in the NFL. Carpenter, a graduate from Woodlawn High School, played college football at Virginia Tech and signed as an undrafted free agent safety by the Buffalo Bills in 1999. Carpenter played three seasons there until he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 where his popularity grew. Unfortunately in 2003, Carpenter torn his ACL and the ‘promising NFL career’ came to an end.
Now the NFL veteran, through the Lord’s help, is dealing his own hand and hopefully others as Carpenter will use what made his name known, football.
On June 28th to July 2nd, Carpenter is hosting his first football camp, C4C (Commitment 4 Change), at Towson University and some of his NFL buddies will be at attended, including world champion of the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore native, Antonio Freeman. “I was thinking about this (starting a camp) for the past two or three years,” said Carpenter. On Saturday June 27th in Baltimore at Poly High School, current NFL players like LB Bart Scott of the New York Jets and CB D’Angelo Hall of the Washington Redskins along with former players and a few surprise guests will take on each other and some “wanna be’s” in flag football.
On Sunday at Towson University, Carpenter and his NFL family will speak to the campers and parents, using the disciplines of football and apply them into away of life. “I know that the kids will learn something along as the parents,” said Carpenter. “It’s more to life in being an athlete in football, basketball, baseball, or being an entertainer…it’s more to life than that. Sports teaches us a lot of different disciplines that we can add to our daily life and I believe if you follow those, you could be successful in life no matter what you do. It doesn’t mean that if you are not a football player or a basketball player that you won’t be successful.” After that for the next couple of days, the skills of football will be taught by some of the world’s greatest athletes.
C4C is a tool to fulfill his purpose in life and Carpenter’s football camp is the coming out party for his destiny. Carpenter is a product of a single parent household in west Baltimore and because of his mother’s struggles to provide for him, he was inspired to start his own foundation. The Carpenter House, Inc. was founded by Carpenter in 2005 in which to help provide affordable housing, healthcare, nutritional needs, education, and other needs in the ‘hood’. “You will definitely see communities around Baltimore, Carpenter House communities,” said Carpenter. We will have new neighborhoods around with affordable housing for our people and commercial for our businesses. We want to bring the ‘hood’ back to our neighborhoods because once an upon of time when we were growing up, the hood was good. Now as of late, people are afraid of the hood, but the hood is what embrace and made us who we are and I want to get back to that type of living and educate for our people so we can sustain our homes, our families and provide the best environment for our kids.”
Carpenter’s commitment to Baltimore to deal out ‘better hands’ doesn’t stop with the Carpenter House. “I partnered up with my best friend, Gerrell Wilson, and Mike Thompson to have a mentoring program called F.M.K. (For My Kids),” said Carpenter. We mentor, tutor, have a workforce development program, gang rehabilitation, and a S.A.T program. We deal with at risk evils, the ones that want to get on the straight and narrow. We have the infrastructure for them to help them get in college or whatever field they want to get into whether if it be entrepreneurship training. We want to go above and beyond to help kids and their families.”
Carpenter is focus on his purpose to give back to his community and is thankful for the NFL and his success in the league. The true ‘promising career’ is about to begin for Carpenter. “I’m in my work,” said Carpenter when asked if he will work in the media or coach. “I’m helping families and giving back. This is my work, my purpose in life. I believe God had put me into the NFL for ‘His’ purpose. He’s knows my heart, He knows my desires. He wanted to use the platform of the NFL so I can do what’s really important out here and that’s giving back and helping others.”
Note: People can still register their children by going to thecarpenterhouseinc.org to sign up or download the brochure from the site and mail it to:
The Carpenter House, Inc.
10821 Red Run Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117