Ready, set, GO!
That phrase echoed again and again throughout the Franklin Institute's SportsZone Exhibit as students from Steppingstone Scholars raced a hologram on a 40-foot track. The exhibit provided not only a fun time, but also a great learning experience for the kids in attendance.
Nevertheless, racing a hologram is much different than going head to head with the Eagles' wide receiver himself, which is exactly what a few of the kids got to do on Monday afternoon. It was an experience both they and Matthews thoroughly enjoyed.
"They had a really good time," Matthews said. "Just being able to come and spend some time with them one-on-one and make it a little more personal than just running against a fake me, me being able to come and actually run against a few of them and spend some time, it was a good experience. I think the kids really enjoyed it."
Jordan Matthews was back at the Franklin Institute's SportsZone exhibit on Monday afternoon with Eagles Care partner Steppingstone Scholars ...
Steppingstone Scholars is a 2015 Eagles Care partner that aims to prepare students for admission to college preparatory schools. Ultimately, the non-profit works to create opportunities that will lead its students toward successful college careers.
As a Vanderbilt graduate, education is of the utmost importance to Matthews. He earned his degree in economics in 2014 and even told the students that without it, he wouldn't be where he is today.
"Their program is actually really inspiring," Matthews said of Steppingstone Scholars. "The graduation rate around where a lot of these kids are growing up is in the lower 60th percentile, but the graduation rate for these kids once they get in this institute, it's actually 100 percent from 2013 to 2014. That's really inspiring and also to see kids be able to come here and be able to be in an organization like that and give them hope, it's really great to see. It's awesome to be able to come out here and just encourage them to stay on top of their education."
Upon his arrival, Matthews was immediately challenged by a number of the scholars to a race. He warned them that he had stretched and was ready to go, but the kids were still just as eager to compete.
It was time to hit the track.
"There were a lot of kids who were confident when I first walked out here," Matthews said. "They were talking a little bit, but I was actually surprised how fast a lot of them were. I think some of them will actually have the chance to try out for the Eagles in a couple of years."
As for the exhibit itself, Matthews is honored to be a part of it and to have worked so closely with the Franklin Institute. It's a spot he plans to bring his family every opportunity he gets, including his parents Roderick and Brenda, who attended the Community Monday event with their 23-year-old son.
"To be able to hear Merrill Reese the whole time, it's a real fun experience. I'm going to bring a lot of my family here whenever they come to games, but just make sure they get a good stretch in," Matthews joked. "I don't want anyone to pull a hamstring when they race me."