The Pat Tillman Foundation is hosting the coin toss for Super Bowl LVII, giving four students a chance to share their success stories and allowing them to serve as honorary captains of the game.
The Pat Tillman Foundation works to provide military service members, veterans and spouses a chance to earn academic scholarships while learning how to better improve their leadership skills.
The foundation was created to honor namesake Pat Tillman, an ASU alum and Cardinals football player who gave up a multimillion dollar NFL contract to serve in Afghanistan, where he died in 2004.
The Pat Tillman Foundation scholars are military service members united through academic passion. The 800 scholars in this program all share the same goal: to better society in some way.
"These scholars are making an impact as they lead through action in the fields of healthcare, business, public service, STEM, education and the humanities," according to the Pat Tillman Foundation.
This partnership was the result of a standing relationship between the Pat Tillman Foundation and the National Football League. CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Dan Futrell, discussed the partnership and how the NFL asked them to come aboard Super Bowl LVII.
"They reached out to us, in fact, and said 'Hey, you know, we have really appreciated our partnership with you, and would love to shine this big spotlight on the work of your scholars for this game,'" Futrell said.
Futrell is not exactly sure yet on what the four scholars will do at the event, but he knows they will be on the field and be honored for their work.
"The NFL has created a 90-second video that highlights those four scholars and their stories," said Futrell.
The four chosen scholars include Fabersha Flynt, Robert Ham, HyeJung Park and Dave Prakash. Futrell talked about how these specific scholars were chosen from the 800 scholars.
"These four were on a shortlist of about 20 or 30, and we talked to the NFL and picked them together," said Futrell.
One of the scholars, HyeJung Park, graduated from ASU with a doctoral degree in psychology this past December and is a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Park talked about her experience with the foundation and why she applied to be a Pat Tillman Scholar.
"I knew that this was just an amazing organization of incredible scholars. I knew I wanted to be a part of it," Park said.
These scholars all seek to better society and help one another in any way, so scholars, like Park, stick around after graduation to help wherever needed.
"We are not tasked with anything; we just go about living our lives and many of us live with the four values that structure the foundation," said Park.
Park and Futrell both emphasized how Tillman's legacy lives on through the 60 scholars chosen each year, highlighting the importance of the foundation.
"I will tell you that his legacy continues to ripple through our Tillman scholars, and through all the people that they touched in their work," Futrell said.
Edited by Sadie Buggle, Reagan Priest and Anusha Natarajan.
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