Tony Dungy, the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl, met with students March 10 at Pecan Springs Early College Prep Elementary School.
The popular football analyst for NBC and national spokesman for the All Pro Dad fatherhood program encouraged students to follow their dreams to be successful.
"Set your goals high," he said. "Don't let anyone talk you out of dreaming."
Dungy underscored the importance of education and persistence.
"If it doesn't go the way you want it to, don't give up," he said. "Stick to your guns, and do what you believe in."
International tennis pro Andy Roddick invited Coach Dungy to Pecan Springs, where Roddick supports an afterschool program.
The Andy Roddick Foundation created a one-year grant to ensure the early college prep school can offer an after-school program after a five-year federal grant expired last year. The East Austin campus was one of many AISD schools that lost 21st Century Community Learning funding, which supports after-school programming, when the grant cycle ended. No funding was available to replace it.
The foundation’s partnership with AISD ensures high-quality, after-school support for students at the Title I school, where the majority of the students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch.
ARF works with the community to expand opportunities for young people, recognizing children in low-income communities often have less access to enriching opportunities outside the school day than students from more affluent communities.
Photos from the assembly: