CINCINNATI’S SHAWN WILLIAMS NAMED WEEK  7  NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP  

With 43 percent of students in his hometown of Blakely, Georgia not having proper technology access for remote learning, Shawn Williams launched a fundraising campaign to ensure that every Early County High School student in need had a Chromebook.

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CINCINNATI’S
SHAWN WILLIAMS NAMED WEEK  7  NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Shawn Williams has been named Week 7 NFLPA Community MVP after he donated $80,000 and raised another $20,000 to provide 250 Chromebooks for students at his alma mater in Georgia.

“Being named this week's Community MVP is a tremendous honor, and I am very appreciative,” Williams said. “My motivation has always been to give back to the youth in a community that raised me to be the man I am today.”

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning has become the new norm. Unfortunately, many students across the country do not have proper access to technology at home, which threatens to widen the achievement gap in education. This includes the Early County School District in Williams’s hometown of Blakely, Georgia, where 43 percent of students do not have access to either high-speed Internet or an at-home learning device.

Recognizing this need, Williams decided to step up for his community. The Cincinnati Bengals safety started a GoFundMe, donating $50,000 to launch the campaign. An additional $20,000 was raised from other donors, and Williams partnered with both Think About It! and Cxmmunity to pave the way for the purchase of Chromebooks for his alma mater, Early County High School.

In order to ensure that all 250 in-need students who applied for a device received one, Williams contributed $30,000 more to the initiative to cover the remaining costs. Each laptop came with the necessary classroom software already downloaded and a three-year warranty on both the hardware and software.

“It's important that every child has fair access to information and technology,” Williams said. “So I am thankful for all of those that helped with this event in any way.”

Working with organizations that provide mentoring, counseling and opportunities to minority youth is something that Williams has been very passionate about throughout his time in the NFL. In the past, the eighth-year veteran has spoken at Cxmmunity's Tech4Good Twitch event to raise awareness for students who live in the digital divide, donated $30,000 to the Positive Community Impact for Cincinnati and participated in multiple teammate's youth football camps.

In honor of Williams being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice. Also, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign for a cause important to him. Supporters can pledge contributions, or they can make a flat donation at the following website:

Make A Pledge

Williams, along with the other 2020 Community MVPs, will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.    

The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their hometowns and team cities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit our website to learn more about the program.   

2020 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 0: Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans
Week 1: Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 2: Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 3: Landon Collins, Washington Football Team
Week 4: Oren Burks, Green Bay Packers
Week 5: Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills
Week 6: Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers  

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