Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery will be honored by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office in collaboration with the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) at its fourth annual Black History Month celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. The celebration recognizes distinguished African Americans for their contributions to the community as well as their accomplishments in the field of public service.
Cotchery, who just finished his seventh season with the Jets, and his wife, Mercedes, established The Cotchery Foundation in 2007 to benefit underprivileged youth and to inspire children to conceive and achieve goals through programs and services designed to enhance their futures.
The Cotchery Foundation has established several programs designed to provide mentoring and academic support to underprivileged youth. The programs aim to enhance and enrich the lives of youth through target initiatives that help them realize their dreams and plan for their futures. Core initiatives for 2010 included:
Club 89 — A co-ed mentoring program designed to help students conceptualize life after high school.
Keys To Reading Success — An interactive reading program that allows students to improve their reading skills in an individualized, hands-on manner.
Citizen Schools — An organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country.
Skills and Drills Football Camp — An annual one-day camp hosted by Cotchery and other NFL players to give young athletes an opportunity to improve their football skills in the presence of professional players who can identify with their lives.
Additionally, Cotchery participates in many Jets community events, including the Taste of the NFL to benefit the Jets Foundation, the United Way's Hometown Huddle and Heads Up!, a community partnership with the Public Schools Athletic League to provide support to New York City public school football programs. In 2007, he was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year, the Marty Lyons Award recipient and the United Way of NYC's Hometown Hero in recognition of his commitment to the community.
Cotchery has 358 career receptions for 4,514 yards and 18 touchdowns and in 2008 was named the Ed Block Courage Award winner, given by each NFL team to the player who serves as an inspiration in the locker room and as a role model in the community through his dedication and perseverance in staying on the field.
The Black History Month Celebration, hosted by Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi and Chief William Schievella, will take place at the administration and records building in Morristown.