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New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead makes use of All-Pro characteristics off the field, too

Partnership with Scholars brings first location to New Orleans: 'I just go with the things I'm passionate about'

Not surprisingly, it's about the hands and the vision for Terron Armstead.

Use of each has been key to Armstead becoming one of the NFL's elite offensive linemen, an All-Pro in 2018 and a Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons.

And the New Orleans Saints' left tackle also will make use of the traits during his partnership with Scholars, a tutoring and supplementary education service that offers research-driven proprietary programs in all subjects for students from kindergarten to high school.

Armstead on Friday attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the first Scholars location in New Orleans, located in Old Metairie Village Plaza. It's the third franchise location in the United States; Scholars, founded in Toronto, has 70 locations in Canada.

The nine-year veteran, who was the Saints' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, has been a force in community service through his foundation, and said it was easy to partner with Scholars.

"What I'm passionate about," Armstead said. "It's kind of easy for me, really. People get a lot of things come across their 'desk' for investment opportunities, business ventures, other plans that people just come up with. I just go with the things I'm passionate about, things I don't have to think about. I just have a heart for them."

So he'll be hands on, with a vision toward what the program can become.

New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the first Scholars Education center location in New Orleans on June 11, 2021.

"I genuinely care about it and I want to see it through," he said. "This is a start, and not just Scholars. I don't want to just do Scholars. Everything that I will do in education will be surrounded around Scholars because of the amount of time, energy, money they put into their curriculum. But I want to open up schools in underserved communities. That's my goal. That's what I want to do post-football, have schools in New Orleans, Illinois, Dallas. That's what I want to do.

"I feel like this is a start, and a great start. Meeting people like (Scholars director) Matt Baxter, and what he's done. He started with one center in Toronto, and now he has 70 across Canada. This is the third one in the United States, so we may have 70 across the country in no time."

Linebacker Demario Davis, Armstead's teammate the last three seasons and a major figure in terms of community service and advocacy in his own right – he was the Saints' 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee – is impressed by Armstead's work.

"It's unbelievable," Davis said. "A real-life hero. The opportunities that he's providing for the youth, you can't put a value on that. The kids in these communities, they need access, they need opportunities and they need spaces where they can go and grow.

"For a lot of these kids in the communities that they're being placed in, if you don't give them an outlet of somewhere to go to just in general, just another place, the options that they have are limited and can really lead them down a destructive path, where they end up losing their life or end up in jail, or really in some unfortunate situations. So first of all, just giving them an alternative environment is humongous.

"But not only giving them an alternative environment, putting them in one that's going to help them thrive and help them bring out their gifts and their talents. Because when we really start to look at communities that are underserved or that don't have access, there's a lot of hidden talent there, there are a lot of brilliant minds. If you look at the game, a lot of the players you see in games come from these communities, so there's a lot more than physical talent that is in these communities.

"But it has to be unlocked. It has to be tapped into. That's why community centers that have educational opportunities and access to different avenues such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), STEAM (the aforementioned, plus the arts), financial literacy – all these things that are going to help them be successful citizens and quality people – the earlier we can get that in these kids' hands, the better. That's why I commend guys like Terron who are doing things like that."

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