Week 6 Community MVP: Victor Cruz, New York Giants Wide Receiver
As a kid growing up in Paterson, N.J., Victor Cruz could usually be found in either one of two places – at the fire station where his father worked or at the local Boys & Girls Club.
For hours after school, Cruz did everything from shoot hoops with his father’s fellow firefighters to battling his friends in competitive games of pool and ping-pong, building the type of teamwork and resiliency that has helped him become a star wide receiver for the New York Giants.
Those fond memories have motivated Cruz’s efforts off the field, including his latest venture on Oct. 17 when the Super Bowl-winning standout teamed up with the Greenwich Fire Department for a special visit to the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich in Connecticut. Along with delivering a presentation on fire safety and prevention, Cruz and his foundation made a donation to the club’s after-school STEM programming.
In demonstrating a devotion to the academic and social development of kids, Cruz has been named the Week 6 NFLPA Community MVP.
“I am extremely honored to be named the NFLPA Community MVP this week. I know many of my colleagues throughout the league are out in their communities doing great things often and are just as deserving,” Cruz said. “When the opportunity to go out to Greenwich and host a Fire Safety and STEM event at a Boys & Girls Club presented itself, it seemed like a step in the right direction [for the Victor Cruz Foundation].”
Standing before a captivated audience of students in grades 4-6, Cruz joined members for the GFD in providing lessons like “stop, drop and roll” while giving them a look at a fire truck and firefighter gear. The Pro Bowl wideout then gifted the students with a signed autograph photo after their completion of a “Science Behind the Fire” station.
Since the mission of The Victor Cruz Foundation is to assist kids with access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, Cruz’s donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich will go to the club’s computer lab and other STEM-based educational initiatives. What’s more, the sponsorship dollars raised through the visit will help implement a program The Victor Cruz Foundation is launching with the Boys & Girls Club of America called “Science in Sports: Football.”
“The goal of my foundation is to show youth that STEM is in their everyday life and they have the ability to be STEM innovators,” Cruz said. “[The Boys & Girls Club] taught me so many things about life in general and I know it does wonders for so many kids.”
Earlier this year, Cruz co-hosted the MetLight Health & Fitness Expo in New Jersey and sent over 40 students and staff from their supported after-school programs to participate. He and his foundation also hosted a Kids’ Healthy Fun Fest by bringing in local doctors and medical staff who provided free health screening and participated in fitness and nutrition workshops at the Paterson Boys & Girls Club.