Tim Wright may be a tight end for the New England Patriots, but there’s a lot more than football on his mind.
He’s worried about today’s youth. And to make effective change, Wright has launched his own foundation–The Timothy Wright Foundation–to promote the concept the scholar athlete to youth.
“I come from a community where you have to work hard for what you get. There were a lot of people who were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. With that, I felt there was an obligation to give back by giving kids a platform for success and advancement,” says New Jersey-born Wright.
Now, this star athlete, husband and father has dedicated his life to uplifting his community. In May, he launched the Tim Wright Foundation. Emanating from this Foundation is The Wright Way Academy, which provides academic and athletic instruction/support to underprivileged children and youth. The academy already has several scheduled events starting with “The Wright Way” football camps (which will feature 101 academic and football sessions); “The Wright Swing Golf Tournament” (which will raise money and awareness for the advancement of inner city youth); and the “Wright Cut Hair Extravaganza” (which will provide haircuts and shaves for many who are homeless or down on their luck).
“The Foundation is instrumental in reverting the focus of our youth. It is a dedication to creating a platform and opportunities for the kids of our future,” explains Wright. The foundation will incorporate all the cities in Monmouth County, New Jersey to start with. “I want to create a model that will eventually become accessible internationally,” says Wright.
The foundation will host its first ever camp event in June. Friday Night Lights Camp By Tim Wright will take place on June 26 at the Wall Knights Complex in Wall Township, NJ.
Throughout the event, Wright will bring young football players into contact with NFL pros, not only tp learn about the game, but to learn about life as a scholar athlete.
Among the professional participants will be Mohamed Sanu (Cincinnati Bengals), Ka’lial Glaud (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Brandon Jones (Free Agent), Quron Pratt (Philadelphia Eagles), Andrew Opoku (Baltimore Ravens), Duron Harmon (New England Patriots), James Develin (New England Patriots), and Marvin Booker (Free Agent). Local commuity leaders will also partipate.
This sports camp, which targets those ages 7-18, is unique; there will be an academic awareness presentation, in an effort to promote the concept of “scholar athletes” and to help the participants and their families achieve this goal.
Wright knows more than a little something about being a scholar athlete.
Wright was raised in Neptune, NJ, and had always been an overall overachiever both in sports and in academics. As a child, he ran Track & Field, and he played soccer, basketball and football.
At the age of seven, he entered organized football with the Neptune Pop–Warner team. After this, he started his high school football career at Neptune High School but later transferred to Wall Township for his junior and senior years. With the Crimson Knights, he played the positions of running back, wide receiver, safety and returner.
He excelled in the sport and was ranked in the top 10 high school football players in the state of NJ. But at the same time, he maintained his grades. In fact, he maintained high honors and accumulated over a dozen scholarship offers to Division 1 schools. In June of 2008, Wright entered Rutgers University on a full scholarship. Unfortunately, towards the end of the 2010 season, Wright had an ACL injury but worked to make a full recovery and he was able to return to the football gridiron the following year. In his last two years, Wright was made team captain.
He finished his Rutgers football career with 50 catches, for 596 yards and 4 touchdowns. Additionally, he graduated with high honors and won numerous Big East academic awards. In May 2013, he graduated from Rutgers with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. Despite all of these achievements, Wright had a major shock ahead of him. In 2013, he was all set to be drafted, and most around him thought he would be a high first-round pick. He was devastated when he was not picked as a high draft choice. In fact, he was not picked at all. But this did not deter Wright; he picked up the pieces and tried out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It earned him a gig as a walk-on free agent, wide receiver for the Buccaneers. Wright went on to prove his skills in the pros.
Shortly after joining the Buccaneers, Wright was switched to tight end where he caught 54 passes, for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns. When the 2013 season concluded, Wright finished # 1 among Rookie Tight Ends in Catches, Yards and Touchdowns. Tim ended his rookie debut by setting the record for most touchdowns by a rookie tight end in Tampa Buccaneers franchise history.
After one season, Wright found himself being traded to the New England Patriots in 2014. He hit his stride with his new team in the last pre-season game against the New York Giants in his home state with five catches. And he reawakened the era of New England’s two tight end set. Wright had a great year, recording 26 catches and 6 touchdowns and subsequently the New England Patriots won the XLIX Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks on February 1, 2015.
Throughout his career, Wright has learned a lot of business lessons – ones he hopes to pass on to the kids at his foundation.
“Business involves a lot of effort and, most importantly, patience,” says Wright. “Professional sports is a huge business. It’s all about production and what you bring to the organization. If your maintenance outweighs your production, you have to go.”
He wants to pass on smart financial advice to young athletes. So many pros wind up going broke when they leave their sport and Wright wants this to stop. “Most players come from a community where they never had anything, and once they reach the professional ranks and get a lot of money, they get the things they never had. They don’t have any knowledge of budgeting, so they go broke. That’s why The Wright Way Academy is established – to shed light on the community,” explains Wright.
This year, Wright has a lot on his plate with the foundation. “I want all the efforts of my partners and me to collaborate and create a platform for our youth to advance through all the various events that will take place this calendar year,” he reveals. “My long-term goal is to produce a facility where all the aspects of a kid’s life can be organized in one facility, such as academics, athletics, nutrition, financial management and crime prevention.”
Getting into sports…the Wright Way.