Former President Barack Obama called Chris Long's donation of his entire season's worth of game checks to fund educational opportunities one of the "countless stories from this year that remind us what's best about America" before the calendar turned over to 2018.
Now, Long is teaming up with the former First Lady.
The Chris Long Foundation and the Philadelphia Eagles announced a partnership with Michelle Obama's Reach Higher/Better Make Room initiatives and Summer Search, a youth development nonprofit, in support of FAFSA applications and college readiness on Wednesday.
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Student Aid, and it can be hard and intimidating to complete unless students are supported with the right help. Sometimes that's parents, sometimes it's a teacher or counselor, but the problem is, there are some communities with fewer resources, and students don't know how to complete the form, or where to start. This is especially magnified if they are the first in their family to attend college.
In fact, every year, millions of free federal aid dollars for college are left untouched, simply because students don't apply for it. Furthermore, students that complete their FAFSA and get financial aid are much more likely to attend college than those who don't.
That's why The Chris Long Foundation and the Philadelphia Eagles have teamed up with Reach Higher and Summer Search to help students apply for their FAFSA. The goal of their partnership is to help college-aspiring students from low-income backgrounds across the nation to apply to college, get the financial aid they need, and find the support they need to graduate.
Reach Higher/Better Make Room has made it easy to apply on their site at bettermakeroom.org. Click on Up Next to learn how to sign up to get help on applying, receiving tips via text messages, and links to the FAFSA. Or, simply visit the FAFSA site to get started.
"At the end of day, I was just kind of lending my platform to help out something that Michelle Obama has been doing a lot with her platform and as an athlete, it's my pleasure. There's kind of an intersection of interest there," Long says. "Obviously, I think she's been so classy and pushed a lot of great initiatives in her time in the public eye and so she's somebody I respect and admire so I think that's cool."