Feb. 14, 2013
When Auburn senior defensive lineman Nosa Eguae isn't busy hitting the books or taking the field, he can be found volunteering his time at The Pine Hills Literacy Project, an after school program designed to develop and enhance reading skills among kids, grades one through six, in the Lee County area.
"I found myself with a little bit of free time and I decided that I needed to do something wise with it. I needed to do something that would help somebody," Eguae said.
Inspired by a message heard in church, Eguae decided that Pine Hills Literacy was the perfect outlet to use his time wisely.
"In church a few weeks ago the minister was talking about using our platforms to impact others," Eguae said. "I was blessed with many platforms and I have a passion for kids and families, and reading and education is such an important part of life so volunteering here has really been special."
Eguae, 22, from Mansfield, Texas says his tight-knit family also influences his drive toward making a difference.
"I grew up with two older brothers and an older sister, and I was always running around with them," Eguae said. "I am so blessed to have come from such a positive family but I know that a lot of people aren't blessed the way I was. So if I can be that positive role model for someone, I'm not going to pass up that opportunity."
Amy Brinkerhoff and Samantha Holland, teachers for Pine Hills Literacy, paired Eguae with third and fifth graders.
"One of the main goals at Pine Hills Literacy is to get the kids to learn to love reading," Brinkerhoff said. "And Nosa really seems to get that message across to them. He's a huge help to us."
"He is especially great with the boys," Holland said. "He is such a calming person and he helps keep the kids calm and focused which is a hard thing to do at that age."
Although the time commitment is small, Eguae has a big message he hopes to get across to the children.
"At the end of the day, I want them to know that they can do anything they put their minds and hearts to," Eguae said. "That's ultimately what I'm aiming to teach them."