BALTIMORE, Md. (WTAJ)– Aaron Maybin was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland as a inventive child with a coronary heart for expressing himself by portray, writing and taking part in sports activities.
At a younger age, he was recognized with borderline attention-deficit dysfunction however says inventive expression helped him address ADD and different struggles that got here with rising up in an impoverished group.
Maybin was a fast learner in class and beloved to learn. He was given books written by well-known authors like Mark Twain and says he beloved the tales however couldn’t join with the characters. This prompted him to seek for books he felt he might relate to. This led Maybin to literature about Black historical past and Black American figures who’ve achieved wonderful issues for the nation however have been ignored in society.
Whereas attending Mount Hebron Excessive Faculty, Maybin excelled on the soccer discipline main him to take his athletic profession to the subsequent stage in faculty. Maybin acquired over 40 faculty provides earlier than selecting to attend Penn State College, taking part in for the Nittany Lions beneath Joe Paterno. He grew to become an All American and first-team all-Massive Ten choice.
“As quickly as I acquired there, they made positive they let me know…Like, look, man, go to class, Joe’s gonna have individuals check-in and for those who’re not within the first couple rows of sophistication after they come to examine, it’s gonna be an issue,” he mentioned.
Once more, Maybin excelled on the sector throughout his time at Penn State, launching his profession as a linebacker and defensive finish. In August of 2009, he was drafted to the Buffalo Payments after which went on to play for the New York Jets in 2011. In 2013, he was launched by the workforce and signed to the Cincinnati Bengals. After being launched by the Bengals, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts. He retired in 2014.
“From a really early age, I noticed myself as greater than an athlete,” he mentioned. “I mentioned if I have been to drop lifeless tomorrow and the best factor anyone might say about me is that he was a rattling good soccer participant then I wasted a number of time in my life.”
He traded in his helmet and cleats to return to doing what he beloved, portray, writing and creating generally.
In 2009, Maybin based the charitable group, “Project Mayhem,” serving to underprivileged and at-risk youth. Maybin determined to make these youth his target market for his creations. He needed to do greater than assist them; he needed to encourage them.
He used his creative abilities to point out Black kids that they aren’t what society has made them out to be.
“Once you speak about reforming or altering any society it begins with our youth. It begins with the funding that we’re making in our youth,” he famous.
Maybin started educating in school rooms as effectively. He’s created workbooks and coloring books that replicate the scholars studying them.
“I at all times needed my work to be one thing that little youngsters who grew up the place I grew up that seem like me noticed themselves mirrored and noticed their complexions, noticed their hairstyles, noticed their historical past mirrored again at them,” defined Maybin.
However he needed to do greater than present them one thing — he needed to do one thing.
Via Project Mayhem, Maybin raised greater than $82,000 to assist Baltimore public colleges afford heating methods. He says these college students are continually in broken or deserted environments.
“A few of my college students will not be even in third or 4th grade, however they’re answerable for getting 4 or 5 of their younger siblings to highschool each day,” he added. “You recognize whenever you’re strolling by the initiatives, by open-air drug markets on the daybreak, individuals get robbed, individuals get stabbed, individuals get shot. It occurs each day.”
To this present day, Maybin’s creative tapestry continues to develop past the boundaries of Baltimore. His workbooks are being shared in additional than 2 dozen college districts throughout the nation.
“So most of the elements of our academic course of invalidate our youngsters’ livelihoods, invalidate their residing experiences, and invalidates their humanity,” Maybin defined.
To Maybin, illustration is extraordinarily vital within the Black group due to what youngsters watch and see on tv, learn in books and discover on their gadgets. He desires Black individuals to worth themselves and he desires society to worth black individuals and youngsters as an alternative of seeing them as “threatening or somebody who must be ‘dealt’ with.”
As Maybin continues his creative profession, he implements these classes in his personal kids. He has 3 of what he calls “lovely Black kids” and he simply welcomed a new child in December 2020.
He says he makes positive he reads to his youngsters, teaches them their historical past and educates them about their tradition. Retirement from the NFL, he says, has allowed him to be bodily there for his youngsters for so long as he can.