“The Michael Vick Experience” to one generation of kids (now adults) was a cool Nike commercial. After all, before there was a Cam Newton or Lamar Jackson, Vick pioneered the lane they now thrive in as mobile quarterbacks.
In today’s era, however, it’s something entirely different. And one could argue, it’s even more impactful. Partnering with the Ypsilanti-based Bad Credit Is Childish (BCIC) Academy, Vick spoke with student-athletes to stress the importance of establishing good credit. As the academy’s ambassador, Vick also aims to teach the youth about investing and cryptocurrency.
On Wednesday evening, Vick, 41, spoke to Southeastern Michigan’s Boys & Girls Club youth members. He wrapped up his speaking engagements Thursday morning, visiting Cass Technical High School (Detroit) and Ypsilanti High School.
Vick’s appearance(s) wasn’t a typical one of someone of his stature. He didn’t spew a bunch of empty words when speaking. Instead, he was authentic.
And the best way to do that is by sharing your own experiences, which he did. Because while growing up, he didn’t know the importance of good credit.
“I wish I would’ve known about this coming out of college when I was going into the National Football League,” said Vick. “Like I told the kids earlier, you can have millions of dollars, but if you have bad credit, you’re still going to spend a lot of that money.” When asked if he witnessed any former teammates struggle as he did, Vick insinuated about 70% of NFL players have poor credit.
With name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights now allowing student-athletes to earn income while in college, Vick’s partnering with BCIC founders Lynwood Powell and Willie Johnson is perfect timing.
“We didn’t have this when we came out 20 years ago. We didn’t have people who wanted to help us understand what credit is all about,” said Vick. You know, we don’t get that in the inner cities. We don’t get that in the communities that some of us come from, unfortunately. [And that’s] whether you grow up with [both] parents in the household or not. We don’t get educated.”
Teaching the youth about good credit doesn’t stop with BCIC for Vick.
He mentioned that he’s advocating for these lessons to be taught in class, “even if it’s 30 minutes.” In his opinion, it’s as essential as learning Algebra or Trigonometry, if not more. And that’s because the knowledge doesn’t expire. Learning how to invest and establish good credit is something one generation can pass to the next.
Michael Vick and his partnership with BCIC began at a golf event, where he and BCIC founder Willie Johnson met through a mutual friend. Vick loved the idea of the academy. From there, he decided to join Johnson and Powell on their initiative.
“We’ve been doing credit restoration for a while, but we wanted to do something that strictly helps the kids,” said Johnson. “We understand that kids don’t have credit. We understand that there is no repair needed, but how do they establish it? This is the one question that a lot of kids and a lot of adults don’t know [the answer to].”
“So, we want to avoid those voids and be able to help them not make the same mistakes we’ve potentially made in the past.”
BCIC founder Lynwood Powell, a graduate of Ypsilanti High School, wants to take it a step further past offering help to the youth.
“We want our kids to be competitive when they think about their credit,” said Powell. “It’s a lot of kids that we are going to reach that don’t have mentors or don’t have parents that have this knowledge. So what we’re doing is trying to instill that in them at a young age. And give back to our community.”
Johnson, Powell, and Vick reiterated one thing continuously. They stressed that many kids from their communities come from poverty-stricken households. Because of that, their teachings aren’t available to them. And that’s what this academy is vital to them.
BCIC is preparing to launch the academy (officially) sometime this month. Having an icon like Michael Vick in the fold will do wonders for brand recognition. And make no mistake about it. Vick is confident in the academy’s potential growth, and he’s with the group for the long haul.
“There’s no turning back for me,” said Vick. “I don’t attach anything to my brand or legacy that doesn’t make sense.”
“The fact that I’ve struggled with this and still have to play clean up [and] catch up is something I’ll be educating my kids on, and hopefully, they’ll educate their kids on [it].”
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.