Calvin Pryor is giving back.
Students at Port St. Joe schools received a surprise on Tuesday morning when they took a trek out to Shark Field where they received free book bags, school supplies and snacks courtesy of hometown hero Calvin Pryor, who graduated from Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School three years ago and was drafted 18th as a safety by the New York Jets in the National Football League draft in May.
Pryor’s Godmother, Simona Beard said that Pryor got in touch three weeks ago wanting to do something for the school and students and asked around as to what would be beneficial for students. Pryor’s family decided that school supplies for the new term would go a long way.
“Calvin wanted to do something to motivate the students,” Beard said. “He wanted to give something back to the kids of Port St. Joe.”
Each of the 1,100 backpack was emblazoned with the former Tiger Shark’s logo and handed out to smiling students by district employees and Pryor’s family.
Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton welcomed the students as they collected their gear and made sure the younger generations understood what Pryor had achieved since graduation.
“Calvin is another example of someone who has come out of the local school system and gone on to do very well for themselves,” Norton said. “At the same time, he’s not forgetting where he came from.”
Norton said that he found it inspiring that the Tiger Sharks just played their first game of the season and just three years ago, some students were Pryor’s teammates on the field.
“Calvin expects a lot from himself and in the process, has shown the fabric of who he is,” Norton said.
Beard thanked the teachers and district staff for their help in spreading Pryor’s message to students of his alma mater.
“Calvin wanted to show the students that if you start here and make big plays in school, you can go anywhere.”