MIDLAND, Texas: As a part of Teen Flow’s third annual fundraiser, former NFL star and the inspiration for the best-selling book and hit movie “The Blind Side” Michael Oher shared his testimony with the crowd.
“Young people look up to me, they know me because of my story,” Oher said. “It resonates for so many of them, not just for young people but for people who are trying to overcome obstacles and for people who are trying to beat the odds.”
Teen Flow is an organization for at-risk children in the Midland area, teaching them the Bible through youth ministries. Some of the students find it easier to relate to Oher because they have seen some of his struggles through the big screen.
“It’s more of a connection because now that I’ve seen his story and I can take pieces and kind of put it into my life,” Teen Flow student Manny Bara said. “Now that he’s going to say his testimony and how he moved up from that and moved with God, it’s a booster for me to keep moving forward in God.”
Oher also thinks it’s helpful for the kids to know he’s not just a movie character.
“Obviously people see a movie and they think ‘that can’t be real’ and then they’re always in awe when I show up,” Oher said. “When I’m actually here in the flesh and it just lifts them and it inspires them and motivates them.”
For Oher, speaking to and signing autographs for kids that remind him of himself outweighs his accomplishments on the gridiron.
“I hit all my goals. At one time, after I was done, I said ‘I can relax, I don’t have to do anything, I’ve made a lot of money’ and stuff like that, but I would have let a lot of people down,” Oher said. “My goal is chasing greatness in inspiring and motivating the next generation.”
Oher is the latest in the line of famous NFL stars to speak at the fundraiser, following Drew Brees and Tim Tebow.