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Riley Cooper rocks congress -- for kids

AJP Riley 6.21.12 crop - CopyBy Amanda Ponzar @LivingUnited

If you think all Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Riley Cooper  (#14) does
is catch footballs, then you missed him in action on Capitol Hill this week.

Riley volunteered with United Way in the sweltering, oppressive 100-degree heat and humidity –- during his “off season” vacation –- participating in United Way's first Youth Empowerment Summit with National Football League (NFL) players from across the country and then advocating before members of congress during United Way’s annual Day of Action on June 21.

Nnamdi & team Riley 6.21.12Riley recently joined TEAM NFL —a core group of college-educated, civic-minded NFL players committed to helping United Way recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors. (NFL is a long-term United Way partner.)

It’s all about caring adults who can help students hang in there and graduate, creating a brighter future for all of us.

Senator Casey & group 6.21.12
We met with Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Representative Chaka Fattah, and Senator Toomey’s office.

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Charlie Batch and his beautiful wife (check out their Best of the Batch Foundation  focused on education) joined our team for the senate visits.

While in Florida, Riley mentored three young guys and helped increase their GPAs from 2.0 to As & Bs. He invested a ton of quality time and shared that real-life mentoring experience with members of congress, encouraging them to recruit volunteer mentors from their constituents, as well as volunteer themselves.

And Riley hung out with and encouraged the students who participated. Now that's keeping it real.

Rep Chaka Fattah & Group 6.21.12Team Riley” also included two high-performing high school students from Philadelphia’s most challenged schools. Both were mentored and are mentors now -– paying it forward.

One was his high school’s last salutatorian before it closed due to lack of funding (he graduated and will be attending Lincoln University) and another, through a mentor program at her school, is going to Harvard this summer!

Touch down!

It’s ALWAYS good to see celebrity athletes using their star power to help others.

Riley lives united 6.21.12Riley Cooper took action. Now you can too. Get involved with Team Riley –- check out unitedway.org/TeamRiley, take the volunteer pledge, recruit your network to volunteer, spread the word and give Riley a shout-out on Twitter @RileyCooper_14! Riley Lives United. Now how are you going to? Go Eagles! Riley & AJP 6.21.12

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Amanda P

@LivingUnited: Win a LIVE UNITED shirt for 10th retweet; help Eagles @RileyCooper_14 recruit mentors: http://bit.ly/LqvKu2

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