2022 Pittsburgh Steelers rookie class giving back big
There are few players who have donned the black and gold that stand out more in a crowd than Mel Blount. Whether it’s his overall stature or his cowboy hat, Blount has always made an impact wherever he goes.
Everyone knows Blount’s impact on the court when he was playing for the Steelers, but off the court he tried to make an ever greater impact on the community. Blount established the Mel Blount Youth Home in Claysville, Pennsylvania, and a special program through the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative.
The program is run for local youth which provides an environment that fosters a desire to learn, work, play and develop principles of respect, responsibility and leadership through education, moral development and character and orientation.
“That’s one of the great things about our program,” Blount said at this year’s event. An event that dates back to 2004. “When these Steelers players come, it’s special. These young people who participate in the program love and admire these athletes.
“I think it does two things. It helps children. They love these guys. They watch them on TV, cheer them on, are huge Steelers fans. When players go out and sit and talk with these kids and then see them on TV and what they’re doing during the season, it’s special for them.
For a Steelers rookie, this trip to Claysville wasn’t his first, and it certainly meant a lot upon his return. It would be none other than the team’s first choice, Kenny Pickett. Pickett, who was drafted 20th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, made one appearance for the program during his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh.
“It meant a lot,” Kenny Pickett said. “I came here my freshman year at Pitt. Coming here as a rookie has come full circle. It was great to be here with the guys and play football, tell stories.
“I think it’s great that Mel stays involved with the organization and the guys are giving back. The whole rookie class was great today. A big congratulations to the children who came out. We had fun with them. Lots of Laughs. I did a lot of exercises, I had fun at the end. We had a nice lunch with the kids. It was a great day overall.
The NFL player is often credited for everything he doesn’t do or does wrong. Missing a mission on a play, not delivering in the clutch or doing anything off the field. I think it’s important to also mention what these players are doing well, especially in the community.
The Steelers are incredibly active in the Pittsburgh area, and that doesn’t include individual player initiatives like Cam Heyward’s “Heyward House,” which is something completely separate from the Steelers organization. Often, the rookie class working with the youth at Blount Youth Home is just the beginning of their work in the community.
Throughout the offseason, and even into the season, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC not only for the Steelers 2022 Xs and O’s, but also to highlight the good that the players and the organization do in the community.