There have been multiple “moments of truth” throughout every phase of my life, but there is one in particular that stands out above the rest. When I was younger, I was playing a pickup hockey game with my buddies and there happened to be a boy named Chris who was about 7 years younger than me who wanted to play. I could tell that Chris was “different” than the rest of us. Later I found out he had been born with Down Syndrome. Because of my upbringing, I was raised by two great parents who gave me a strong foundation and set of morals. I allowed him to play with the group and included him in the game. Unfortunately, what happened next would shape me for the rest of my life. Another kid who was playing with us began to bully Chris and make fun of him. I knew this wasn’t right so I decided to take things into my own hands and handled the situation to make sure that this wouldn’t ever happen again. From that point, Chris and I have developed a friendship that transcended the normal boundaries. I decided if and when I ever had a platform to help Chris I was going to take advantage of the opportunity. This very situation inspired me to start my foundation called the TC House which will build an assisted living home for kids with down-syndrome. The moment and lesson here is that life is more than the tangible things in your possession; it’s more important than accolades or awards. It is about the relationships you form, doing the right thing, and about taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves. Chris has taught and given me more than I could ever have done for him. —Do the right thing.
I AM ORANGE ARROW
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
High School: West Allegheny SHS
Highlight: State Champion, 3- Time WPIAL Champion, US Army All American, USA Today All American, Elite 11 QB Sport(s): Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track
College: University of Pittsburgh Sport(s): Football
Highlight: Winning Big East for the 1st time in school history, Big East champ 2004, Fiesta Bowl, All Big East Selection