Muhammad Wilkerson is the Jets' nominee for the NFL Man of the Year award for his charity work.
As a local product from Elizabeth, NJ, Muhammad embraces the opportunity to give back to those in the community he grew up in. Before forming his foundation, T.E.A.M. 96 in 2012, Muhammad participated in team-related community events including Hometown Huddle and a flag football event for middle school girls. Once forming T.E.A.M. 96, Muhammad has provided college scholarships to student athletes from his alma mater, Linden High; as well as students from Elizabeth High and Wyandanch in Long Island. T.E.A.M. 96 has continued to grow, and in 2013 started Thanksgiving SACKS, which provides meals to over 200 families. The first 200 recipients of the Thanksgiving initiative were residents of a housing project where Muhammad grew up as a child. T.E.A.M. 96 has also hosted a luncheon for 96 men and women cancer survivors during the month of October. Covering a wide range of community initiatives, one thing is clear, Muhammad is committed to his community and doing what he can to improve the lives of those he comes in contact with.
How has your nominee put the needs of members in the community ahead of their own?
Muhammad has been stopped in the streets of his own neighborhood by teenage boys asking him for help to further their education and has not turned a child down. While he could be using all available time away from football with his family, he chooses to ensure he has a meaningful and impactful relationship with the people of his community. Muhammad’s community involvement is not limited to his own community, but he nearly always answers the call of teammates and supporting efforts as well.
What is your nominee’s next initiative?
Muhammad’s next initiative is to grow his scholarship award amount. His foundation is working harder to make sure the award amount for students significantly helps them and eases the financial burden on their family.
When did your nominee start supporting this cause?
Muhammad created T.E.A.M. 96 in 2012, but his involvement in his community dates back to his days as a child.