MILWAUKEE -- Playing in the Super Bowl is a dream a Milwaukee teenager turned into reality. Brandon Brooks, a guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, graduated from Riverside University High School in 2007. There, he played football for the Tigers, wearing #56. Now, he's giving back in his hometown.
"You live in the same neighborhood he did. Went to the same middle school, same high school. Walked the same hallways. Practice on that same field," said Riverside High School Head Football Coach Patrick Wagner.
It's something Coach Wagner reminds his student-athletes of:
"You can do the same thing if you work like he does," Coach Wagner said.
"He was a good student. A person with a good heart. He still is," said Riverside High School Principal Maria Gonzalez Edwards.
On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Eagles Charitable Foundation shared the importance of eye care with students. They were sent home with information on vision health and other goodies.
"We know that getting your eye exams and wearing your glasses is just as important as our players putting on their helmets and pads and their equipment they need to succeed on the field," said Rachel Weiner, director of vision programs with the Eagles Charitable Foundation.
Both on and off the field, Brooks is open about obstacles he's overcome, specifically with anxiety.
"And really giving a voice to not just adults but students who might be going through the same thing," said Principal Gonzalez Edwards.
It's that determination that Coach Wagner said got him to where he is today.
"Very humble, hard-working, extremely intrinsically motivated," said Coach Wagner.
On Sunday, Feb. 4, Brooks will make his Super Bowl debut, and Green Bay Packers aside, you can bet that young fans from Riverside will be rooting for him.
"I can tell you first and foremost, our students are Riverside Tiger fans, so they will be celebrating and cheering on Brandon Brooks because he is one of our own," said Principal Gonzalez Edwards.
Milwaukee is just one of four cities the Eagles Charitable Foundation chose to make a pit stop in, as part of its 'Road to Minnesota' tour.