Sports Stars Making a Social Impact: Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles is supporting youth sports, education, and family enrichment

By February 11, 2019 No Comments

By Edward Silvan, Read the full feature: http://bit.ly/2timZvd

The most impactful moment in my career came on a trip to Haiti last year when I saw firsthand that I could use my platform on the field to make substantive change in communities off the field. Seeing children have better opportunities is the most important thing to me.

As a part of my series about sports stars who are making a social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Zach Ertz, a Pro Bowl tight end for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, scored the winning touchdown in the 2017–18 Super Bowl. His wife Julie Ertz, a highly decorated defender for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, was a member of the 2015 World Cup championship team, and the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. Married in 2017, they share a devotion to their religious faith, a love for athletics and competition, and a desire to help improve the lives of people around the world. In 2018, Zach and Julie founded the Ertz Family Foundation based on three pillars of service: Creating sports opportunities for those who lack them, providing educational opportunities for youth of all ages, and restoring a sense of hope and opportunity for families who need it most.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?

I was very fortunate to have several mentors in my life that believed in my ability on the football field. It was their support that made me believe that I could do it too.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

The most impactful moment in my career came on a trip to Haiti last year when I saw firsthand that I could use my platform on the field to make substantive change in communities off the field. Seeing children have better opportunities is the most important thing to me.

What would you advise to a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Stay focused, believe that you can achieve at the highest level, surround yourself with others who believe in you, and do not stray from your goal.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Brent Jones was that person for me. He started coaching me in high school and told me that I could be an NFL Tight End someday. He was a very famous Tight End for the 49’ers and he believed in me. It made a huge difference in how I saw myself and my own success.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

My wife Julie Ertz and I started the Ertz Family Foundation in 2018 to support youth sports, education, and family enrichment. We have supported several programs in California, Haiti, and Philadelphia through the CITY OF LOVE FUND. We have several exciting events coming up this year and look VERY forward to continuing to make a difference throughout our communities

What methods are you using to most effectively share your cause with the world?

We are honored to be working with several media partners in Philadelphia and California and utilize social media and our Foundation’s website, www.ertzfamilyfoundation.org, to raise awareness and support for our mission.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

Julie and I were very fortunate to be mentored and supported in both our education and sports, so we wish to give others the same opportunities that we had.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

Not just one person, but we were able to generously change a season for the Kensington High School (Philadelphia) football team in 2018 when all their football equipment was stolen. Their head coach reached out on social media to ask for support, and we got them a $10,000 grant immediately. As a result, they were able to salvage their season and keep those players on the field. Kensington is a very underserved area of Philadelphia, so we felt so grateful for the chance to support them

What are your 3 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Football should not be your source of identity. This one is important to me because I am much more than the player. My faith, my wife, my family, and the work I do off the field is paramount to feeling whole.
  2. Having success as a team is much more fun than having individual success. I have learned this lesson through the many wins I have experienced as a team.
  3. Make sure you dedicate yourself so you don’t have any regrets. Being an NFL player is a very short window in my life. I want to look back when I am done and know that I was the best teammate and player I possibly could be.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Education and access to youth sports is the most important movement to me because it is critical for learning and being part of a team and creating a sense of belonging. Giving kids hope through access to education and sports and all the life lessons you learn from them is what makes me feel so fortunate to have this platform.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement,” John Wooden. I have focused my own efforts in my life based on this quote because I think it’s very important to make every minute count in your quest to achieve your goals.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to meet Lee Strobel, author of several Christian books. I would like to sit down with him and discuss his journey from devout atheist to a Christian author who uses his platform to prove the existence of God and Jesus.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring.

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