Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Ingram’s ‘I Still Roll’ to give back to community

This Saturday, fans may spot a familiar face pacing the sidelines during the annual A-Day game, but this time, Mark Ingram Jr. will be here to do much more than just support his former team.

Ingram, who won Alabama’s only Heisman Trophy during their national championship season in 2009 will be in Tuscaloosa to launch his new campaign, “I Still Roll!” which is part of a program of initiatives that he will lead, designed to help both disadvantaged kids and to also give back to communities.

The running back, who is now playing in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, has partnered with Reaching the Goal Promotions to begin a series of programs directly involved with his own personal struggles.

“I’ve always looked forward to giving back to the community and giving back to the youth in anyway that I can, and when the opportunity presented itself to partner with United Way and to develop these T-shirts and give back to the youth, it really caught my attention,” Ingram said. “We’re just taking it one step at a time.”

Friday from 6 – 8 p.m. the United Way of West Alabama will host the official announcement of “I Still Roll!” at the Innisfree Irish Pub. Along with the announcement, Ingram will launch the sale of the “I Still Roll!” T-shirts. For every customer that claims an affiliation with the University, $1 of that sale will go to Alabama scholarship funds. They will be available to purchase at Innisfree on both Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ingram and United Way of West Alabama will also meet to discuss the potential of creating a partnership that would blossom into more events to help the community.

Jackie Wuska, chief executive officer and president of United Way of West Alabama would like to see the partnership form for these events.

“We are excited about the possibility of developing a partnership with Mark Ingram to promote education, income stability and health issues across West Alabama,” Wuska said.

Tracie Isaac, vice president of Reaching the Goal Promotions, Ingram and United Way will meet to potentially form a partnership for events.

“We are looking at developing something like a youth fitness and wellness day, where kids and their families will come together and the kids will have workshops where they will talk about health and fitness,” Isaac said. “[Ingram] would like to do a demonstration or a workout session to experience activities that will keep you fit.”

Isaac also said Ingram is working towards a program that would assist children who have incarcerated parents. The programs would be specific to each child’s needs, whether it be a mentor, family services or something else entirely.

Ingram’s own father is currently serving time in prison for money laundering and fraud, and Isaac said it has been a source of his passion for helping these kids. Ingram, who had asthma as a child, also uses his platform to share what he has learned about treating this disorder, and how he has not let his personal struggles hold him back.

“Going through the struggles that I have been through, it has just built me to be a stronger man,” Ingram said. “I never used my struggles as a negative… they are just positive energy and motivation to be the best I could be, on and off the field.”

For these programs, the message he hopes kids will receive is also one of the main goals of “I Still Roll!”

“I just hope that they learn that whatever they want to do, they can accomplish it.” Ingram said. “No matter what it is in life, never let anybody tell them that there is something they can’t do.”

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