Chad Pennington holds the Achievement in Sports Award with two others from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City
Chad Pennington shared two valuable lessons with the several hundred guests who crowded the ballroom of Manhattan's Waldorf=Astoria on Monday evening to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.
Pennington, who received the group's Achievement in Sports Award, said first, "You realize that you are an adult when you realize that life is about what you give rather than what you get."
Second, he said, "Leadership is the key to being an effective mentor."
These values have helped guide Pennington on and off the field. He is more than a natural leader. To his teammates, he is a fighter, a unifier and a mentor. To the individuals he has touched outside the Jets organization, he is a superstar.
After struggling with injuries that left him sidelined the previous three years, Pennington gave everything he had to rehabilitate himself and compete for the starting position last season. Once he secured it, he never looked back. He fought week in and week out to help his team achieve success, leading them to a 10-6 record and the playoffs.
But in addition to receiving the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award, he also won the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his commitment to giving back to the community. Through his 1st and 10 Foundation, Pennington has impacted the lives of so many people throughout the tri-state area as well as in West Virginia and Tennessee.
On Monday night Pennington shared the stage with two other honorees who also do their parts to give back to the community. Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, won the Achievement in Business Award, and Pamela Thomas-Graham, Group President Liz Claiborne Inc., won the Public Service Award. CNN's Soledad O'Brien emceed the evening, which was chaired by William C. Freda, National Managing Partner – Clients and Markets, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, and which raised more than $1.8 million for the charity.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City has served the changing needs of the city's most at-risk youth since 1904.That has been accomplished by developing and nurturing mentoring relationships under the guidance of trained case managers, who carefully screen adults interested in spending 6-10 hours a month with school-age children, primarily from single-parent families.
BigsNYC has also developed programs to help children facing more complex challenges, such as immigrant youth, teen moms and victims of 9/11. Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, BigsNYC has been able to reach out to the city's most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring mentors and helping them to achieve bright and productive futures.