Look beyond Marvin Wilson’s emotional tweet. What he was looking for was empathy but really one of understanding. It was a demand – that there was a need to bring about substantial change.
And Wilson has clearly inspired teammates as well as the community to help. Defensive tackle Cory Durden organized the Unity Walk a few weeks ago from the stadium to the Florida Capitol, safety Jaiden Lars-Woodbey outlined his goals and tight end Camm McDonald has also posted videos where he distributes pizza.
FSU football players are speaking up and forming their plans for what they can do to make an impact. One of Wilson’s initial thoughts was to do a youth football camp. Ed Hill told Wilson to think bigger.
“Camps are a one-and-done deal,” said Hill, who is the football coach and athletics director at Tallahassee’s John Paul II Catholic School. “We want to affect change. How about we sit down and we figure out what we can actually do to affect change.”
Hill started Game Time Prep as a 7-on-7 summer team about six years ago. But it developed into a year-round program that focused on financial literacy and communication skills. At first, he was trying to help his son earn a football scholarship to ensure he could work toward his college degree. And it grew to the point where he was soon renting a van and driving players to camps in South Florida as well as all around the Midwest.
The connection between Hill and Wilson is rooted in football but they have common ideas and goals. Hill’s son, Isaiah, played at FIU and knew Devontay Love-Taylor, who graduated and transferred to FSU for the 2020 season. Wilson and Love-Taylor quickly became friends.
One day, Wilson, Love-Taylor, offensive lineman Jalen Goss and Hill sat down to discuss their upbringing, their communities and what was important to them. Among the ideas discussed were financial literacy and healthcare.
“During a time when our nation needs to positively connect with one another & effect change, it is important for me to do something that will make a major difference in someone’s life,” Wilson posted on Twitter on Wednesday. “Today, I am proud to launch ‘Marvin’s Movement’ to influence kids and impact change incommunities across the state and nation. The mission of the movement is to help kids understand the importance of sound money management and budgeting, as well as help them access affordable health care options. This movement is more than just helping give kids a solid money education. It’s about giving them the knowledge and skills needed to take charge of their lives. Please join me!”
Money management is often not taught in high schools but the lessons, when learned at a young age, can last a lifetime. Hill recalled that a high school player would bring $20 for a weekend trip to an out-of-town college camp, not having any idea how much food or other expenses would cost.
“It wasn’t just the kids that didn’t understand financial literacy, it was the parents,” Hill said. “This thing is generational.”
Hill learned about a financial literacy program that FSU had developed in conjunction with the CFO of Florida. The financial literacy will include budgeting, sensible credit card use, understanding of FICO credit scores and a big one: being a first-time home buyer. There is a feeling that what they teach through the program will rub off on the parents.
“People don’t realize the problem that financial literacy is,” Hill said. “Marvin was probably one of the first ones to really come out and speak on that from the collegiate side. Now you’re seeing professional athletes follow suit because they see that’s a problem.”
There is a similar need for healthcare. Hill has been talking with Healthy Kids, which helps offer low-cost health insurance to boys and girls under the age of 18 in Florida.
“One of the things we realized is that there are so many kids that don’t have healthcare at all,” Hill said. “We have kids that are trying to get physicals, and some of the kids were going to a chiropractor’s office to get sports physicals because they didn’t have an insurance provider.”
Fans looking for more information or who want to donate can go to joinmarvinsmovement.com. FSU coach Mike Norvell and a large number of players also shared this post below on Twitter on Saturday.