Posted By: Michael Cecchin
If you were a Kansas City Chiefs fan throughout the 1980’s and the early part of the ‘90’s, the name Nick Lowery brings to mind a familiar face. Lowery played a total of 13 seasons with the Chiefs from 1980 until 1993, where he broke and set every NFL kicking record at the time. He kicked over 15 game winners during his career, including two playoff winners, and kicked the winning field goal in all three of his Pro Bowl appearances. In 2007 Nick ‘The Kick’ Lowery became an NFL Hall of Fame nominee and in 2009 was named to the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
In 1996, Nick ‘The Kick’ retired from professional football but continued into a retirement that many would consider a full-time job. The Nick Lowery Youth Foundation was established in 1996, providing assistance and guidance to many disadvantaged youth including many Native American teens that are in need of a guiding hand. Stemming from a childhood of sophisticated guidance and inspiration from family friends, neighbours and his aunt, Nick Lowery began his journey of giving back long before his Foundation was considered official.
“It really goes back to how I left college. I was a legislative aide in the United States Senate while I was trying to make it in the NFL. I grew up next door to Supreme Court Justice Byron White, whose name is on the Humanitarian Award that NFL players receive,” Nick explained.
“I just feel like I was surrounded by people who believed in service and contribution to their country. My aunt had Cerebral Palsy and yet she became Utah Citizen of the Year, she taught herself to type, she got her college degree and became a professional librarian at the University of Utah,” said Lowery.
The effects of growing up next to a humanitarian icon that happens to have the NFL’s Humanitarian Award named after him made an early impact on Nick Lowery. Byron White, a man who led the NFL in rushing twice, served as an intelligence officer for the United States military during the Second World War and was the fourth United States Deputy Attorney General. He gave Nick the inspiration to share such knowledge and restore faith in our elders wisdom.
“We believe that the American and Western culture has forgotten or ignored to a large degree, the traditional, historical and culturally relevant role of the elder initiating the young person into adulthood,” stated the three-time Pro Bowler. “If you think about the seminal movies of the last 30 years, a lot of them, whether it’s Star Wars with Yoda or the Karate Kid, they always have mentoring figures,” added Lowery.
“What we do is this leadership training which gives young people a taste of power. It gives them an awareness of a crucial link between their own identity and purpose and their cultural roots.”
Nick Lowery and his Youth Foundation work towards providing unguided youth with a sense of self-determination, while enhancing compassion for making a real difference in making the world a better place. Through his lessons, which have been carefully crafted and developed from his time at Harvard, Lowery is able to create a mentor-rich environment in many children’s lives that are making the transition into adulthood, while enabling their understanding of their role in society.
“People have to understand how they connect culturally to transcend the national boundaries to achieve real power, real democracy, real freedom and that’s what the adapted leadership model is about,” said Nick. “Seeing that the world is melting away its normal boundaries and social network is replacing dictatorships and military hardware as the way that we can work together,” he added.
Not only does Nick ‘The Kick’ focus on encouraging today’s youth to become their own leaders, but he also supports various charitable causes and has helped raise awareness and money. His successful Kick with Nick for Cerebral Palsy raised $1 million for a cause that at the time had almost no name recognition, while educating the importance of the rights of those who are disabled.
In 1993, as a testament to Nick’s community work and care for others, he was awarded with the NFL’s most prestigious humanitarian award, the Byron Whizzer White Award, which to no coincidence is named after his life mentor, Byron White.
The Nick Lowery Youth Foundation works hard to provide countless children the chance to learn from proper positive mentors during what is a confusing time for much of society’s youth. A hero to the city of Kansas City for his excellence both on and off the field, Nick Lowery is more than just a former NFL place kicker, he is a mentor and an influence for generations young and old.
For more information on the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, visit www.nicklowery.com