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New Orleans Saints legend Marques Colston launches One Dream Academy to benefit student-athletes in the greater New Orleans area

One Dream Academy is focused on developing the next generation of athletes

New Orleans Saints legend Marques Colston was the guest speaker at a networking event in Nola Art Bar on Thursday, November 10, 2022. Colston spoke about transitioning from being an NFL player to a businessman, gave advice on entrepreneurship and discussed his upcoming initiatives to help students in New Orleans.

Alongside the New Orleans Saints Social Unification and Youth Football Development departments, Saints Legend Marques Colston today announced the launch of One Dream Academy, a mentorship and enrichment program that gives high school athletes unprecedented access to a network of information, mentorship, support, and resources to help them grow and develop as leaders – in their sports and beyond.

Student-athletes eligible to participate in One Dream Academy are selected based on nominations from high school football coaches. Five student-athletes from 10 local high schools including John F. Kennedy, Booker T. Washington, McDonogh 35, Sophie B. Wright, Destrehan, St. Augustine, Warren Easton, Edna Karr, Hahnville, and East St. John will be given an opportunity to learn from the legendary wide receiver and business leader.

"We developed the One Dream Academy to support young athletes with access to information and mentorship that we lacked along our journey," Colston said. "Our vision is to combine mentorship and coaching with peer learning and informational workshops to empower these athletes to cultivate their dreams in sports and beyond."

One Dream Academy uses an interdisciplinary approach to help athletes position themselves for short-term athletic success while providing tools and insights to visualize and realize sustained success throughout their lives. 

One Dream Academy focuses on these key areas for developing athletes:

  • Intentional goal-setting: Establishing a long-term vision 
  • Personal branding: Building a sustainable personal brand — NIL 101 
  • Entrepreneurship: Becoming a business enterprise — NIL 201 
  • Personal finance: Financing your future 
  • Professional development: Establishing your professional career 
  • Leadership: Developing as an intentional leader

Colston, a diamond in the rough draft prospect coming out of Hofstra University, played his entire NFL career in New Orleans beginning in 2006 and helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV. Colston is the all-time leader in franchise history in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, yards from scrimmage (9,766), 1,000-yard receiving seasons (six), and games played by a receiver (146, with 106 starts).

The multifaceted business executive and entrepreneur now leverages his extensive experience as an owner, partner, investor, and strategic adviser to dozens of companies to champion what he calls "underestimated and undervalued talent." His professional development consulting company, Marques Colston Enterprises, creates specialized enrichment programs and curricula in partnership with higher education institutions, sports organizations, business enterprises, and community organizations. Colston uses these programs to support individual executives and business leaders with performance coaching, wealth advisory, and strategic business consulting services.

We look back at Saints Hall of Fame wide receiver Marques Colston's years with the New Orleans Saints.

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