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Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation

The greatest strength of a people is collaboration and community. In communities where outlets are scarce and opportunities are limited, sports have, more times than not, been deemed as the one outlet that could provide a window of opportunity for success. Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation has made intentional efforts using relationships and resources, to have an impact on this narrative and to provide exposure to the limitless opportunities that exist, not only for participants in the Foundation, but for children everywhere who face realities that include daily challenges.

A lot can be said about Malcolm Jenkins, the athlete. First Round Draft pick (14th overall) of the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 NFL Draft. 13 seasons in the National Football League. 1st Team All-American while at The Ohio State University. Jim Thorpe Award recipient. Let’s not forget the damage he manufactured in his hometown Piscataway, NJ where he played for Piscataway Township High School as both a Wide Receiver and Defensive Back leading his team to three consecutive state championships and another state title on the track and field team in the 400 meters event. Yet not nearly enough can be said about the man, Malcolm Jenkins. Malcolm Jenkins the humanitarian, the philanthropist, the writer, art lover, the businessman, the venture capitalist, the producer, designer, the investor, and truly so much more.

In 2010, Malcolm Jenkins and his mother, Gwendolyn Jenkins-who notably taught herself how to start and fund a non-profit organization, founded The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. What started as a Scholarship program has evolved into a Foundation committed to youth development initiatives and programs that use very targeted approaches to impact the communities across the United States with programs such as Get Ready Fest, Project R.E.W.A.R.D.S, On the Run College Tour, Summer Steam, and more. In our recent interview with Malcolm Jenkins, he stated that:

There are so many different kids that we’ve watched and been amazed by their determination and realizing that just the little bit of help that we give and the belief that we have in them, doesn’t make them, but gives them the opportunity to shine and be who they are. We’ve had kids come through the program that were illiterate and couldn’t read and were struggling in school, and a few years later, we turn on the tv and they’re giving speeches at The White House. It’s these types of examples that let us know that the work that we’re doing is important regardless of if anybody sees it, regardless how small the impact is, regardless of how big the problems are, what we’re doing matters in the lives of the people that we touch.

It’s important to note that, Malcolm, not only do we see you, but the world see’s also you and is ready and willing to recognize, acknowledge, and support you and those who help support your mission. Malcolm Jenkins was recognized as a Finalist for the Walter Payton Man of The Year Award in both 2017 and 2019 while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. Still selfless and aware that the efforts have been a result of the collaboration and teamwork of those around him, he states, “Whenever your work gets highlighted out of the many greats and the many others, then what you’re doing is obviously having impact and is important. But I think it’s also an opportunity to praise those who help me do all of this.” He credits his mother, who operates as the President of The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, the board of the Foundation, the volunteers, and the sponsors, who he says are all acknowledged every time the Foundation is acknowledged.

As Malcolm Jenkins, now retired from the National Football League, continues to develop his career after football and explore his capabilities in business and the creative space, he echoes the principles that have become the pillars of his life. “When I’m trying to accomplish things that are bigger than me, I’m going to need people outside of my own capabilities. I think that’s a lesson that we don’t talk about enough. We’re very competitive, so we like to get it out of the mud and say we did it on our own. And that’s all great and dandy because sometimes we need that. But when you get to the top of the mountain, you realize that there are way bigger mountains to climb, and that those who are scaling them, are not doing so alone.” He’s made the effort to articulate this lesson to the kids in The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation by replicating this concept and weaving it into the fibers of the Foundations programming and being “out loud” about the messaging that “how you build is not off of your own back and willing your way to the finish line. It’s through collectively picking up the weight and spreading the burden so that it’s easier.” Malcolm is determined to use what he knows and has been exposed to, to shed light on the countless possibilities that exist for the children of our community. I know that everything that I am is because of the game of Football, but I also know that’s not the life or the road traveled of the majority of the kids in our foundation. So I want to make sure that we’re doing the most impactful things and showcasing the other side of being a black man. They’ve only seen this football side of me, but they don’t know that I’m a writer, I like art, I’m into tech and space travel. All of the things that they don’t really get to see because we kind of force feed football because that’s what’s popular, that’s what everybody likes. At this point in my life, I’m ready to showcase a little bit more of who I am and what I like to explore. Just to show the youth that you can pursue these things. People have jobs and careers in these areas that often time in our community we look at and say that’s not for me or that’s not for us.


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