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Inside Connor Barwin's Exciting Offseason

It was quite the eventful offseason for Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin.

When he was not working out with a handful of teammates at the NovaCare Complex – he lives in Philadelphia year round – Barwin was out pursuing more leisurely, intellectual and altruistic activities. To wit, he visited to Colombier Beach on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, met Mike Tyson in Atlantic City, frequented the vibrant music scenes of Philadelphia and New York City, worked the control center at SEPTA, talked to politicians on Capitol Hill about Youth Fitness initiatives, went to Haiti on a goodwill mission with NRG, attended the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, took Spanish classes at Temple University, launched his Make The World Better (MTWB) Foundation in Philadelphia, participated in the annual Philly Spring cleanup day and went hunting and fishing in Tennessee.

Not a bad three months on the whole. Out of all his activities, however, there was one that stood out the most for Barwin.

"My trip to Haiti with NRG was probably the most fulfilling (thing I did this offseason)," Barwin said. "I try to enjoy everything I do, but that was a really fun, worthwhile trip. I met a ton of inspiring people. We toured all the facilities that NRG has built there over the last four years, in terms of putting solar panels on top of buildings to generate solar power. While there, we spent three days putting solar panels on top of an orphanage to give them reliable power, which people don't have in Haiti. I'd never been to Haiti before, so this was quite an experience."

Giving back to the community is of supreme importance to Barwin, too, and he established his Make The World Better (MTWB) Foundation in Philadelphia in late 2013. The foundation believes "that communities prosper when young people have access to athletics and the arts" and seeks to enhance those communities by revitalizing recreational areas.

"I started my foundation at the very end of last year and now we're putting it all together," Barwin said. "We have our first event on June 20. It hasn't been confirmed yet, but it'll be a benefit concert at Union Transfer (in Philadelphia). All the proceeds will go to the MTWB Foundation and building a basketball court in South Philly."

Lastly, Barwin wanted to make sure he worked out his brain in addition to the rest of his body during the offseason. He decided to do that by learning Spanish and is currently taking classes at Temple.

"It's a lot more work than you think," Barwin said. "I have to go twice a week at night for two-and-a-half hours each time. I have a final exam left but have an A in the class right now and am hoping I can get an A on that and keep an A in the class. The teacher has been great, and I've really enjoyed it. (Learning a new language) keeps your mind stimulated. I still haven't graduated – a couple more classes and I'll be done."

It was just another regular offseason for the Eagles' resident Renaissance Man, and while all the endeavors satiated Barwin's desire to take advantage of all that life has to offer away from the football field, he is excited to get back to work with his teammates in preparation for the 2014 NFL season.

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