Wednesday, September 21, 2011

White Surprised By Richt


DSC_6881A look of shock overcame Aron White’s face. What was supposed to be a lunch with a select group of fifth graders from Barrow Elementary became a surprise announcement from coach Mark Richt that the tight end was one of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team.

“I was definitely caught off guard, but at the same time I was just so humbled and honored to be a part of the Good Works team,” White said. “I am very proud and this will probably be one of the most distinguished awards that I will ever receive.”

White was told that he would be eating lunch with kids who were named Student of the Month in their respective classes. What he didn’t know was that the kids were also in on the secret.

“Coming in here, I was really shocked,” White said. “Coach Richt came down and gave his announcement, and even the kids knew and they didn’t tell me. They even made a banner for me.

“I was kind of mad at them,” White joked. “I didn’t talk to them for a while, but we made up in the end. They are a great group of kids. It was a lot of fun to eat with them.”

Throughout his career at Georgia, White has been an active member of the community. The fifth-year senior spends some of his off time visiting Camps Sunshine and Kudzu, participating in the MLK Day of Service, assisting with Habitat for Humanity, seeing patients at Egleston Children's Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital, playing in the Dawgs Battling Breast Cancer Golf Tournament and talking with local youth at elementary schools and the Boys & Girls Club.

“My parents always taught me to give back,” White said. “They taught me that I’m just the same as anyone else. When you are blessed with stuff, it is important to give to those less fortunate. I think it is important to give back, so I try to give my best and give back to the community.”

With this mindset, the Columbia, Missouri, native said that interacting with young people is one of his favorite ways to give back.

“It is very rewarding in just how excited they get when you walk in and read them a book that their teacher has read to them 20 times,” White said. “Just the fact that you are reading it makes them get excited, and that definitely makes you feel good. It is probably the biggest highlight I have had as far as doing community service because you see right there it is an immediate gratification of what you are doing.”
White’s time and dedication off the field helped make him the 13th Georgia football player selected to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the most of any school in the nation. It also marks the seventh player under Richt to receive the honor since his arrival in Athens in 2001.

“I think it speaks volumes for Coach Richt,” White said. “He definitely does a good job encouraging us to do community service. It is something that he holds near and dear to his heart, and it is reflected in our actions. It is something that we embrace and run with, and I feel that we do a good job getting out and trying to stay involved in the community.”

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