ABOVE PHOTO: Raheem Brock
By Kharisma McIlwaine
Raheem Brock initially made a name for himself as a defensive end with the Super Bowl XLI Champion Indianapolis Colts. Now the Philadelphia native is doing everything in his power to use his platform to give back to the community — his community.
The Raheem Brock Foundation has been serving disadvantaged communities for over a decade. The non-profit seeks to aid underprivileged youth guiding them in athletic, social and academic development through a variety of programs. In 2007, Brock founded The Raheem Brock Student Athlete Scholarship. This scholarship provides financial assistance to students attending Dobbins C.T.E. High School, who will pursue secondary education.
On Friday, Brock —who is also acting these days on television shows such as “Bull” and “Gotham” — returned to his alma mater on Friday to support the school’s fashion students as they prepare for the Project X. Fashion Show from 6pm-9pm on Friday, May 11 at Dobbins, 2150 W. Lehigh Avenue. The event will be hosted by Paris Nicole and DJ Dom Geez of Boom 103.9, and will feature performances by Reco Havoc, Corey Flaco and Young Leader.
The fashion show features music and designs created by Dobbins’ students. Brock spoke about the importance of giving back and the necessity of creating opportunities for youth to showcase their talents.
Far too often innovation and creativity is discounted and dismissed as a hobby, despite the presence of innate ability. Brock and his foundation continue to dispel that notion by highlighting creativity and the creative arts. “I think creative art is life!” he said. “You have to have creativity, you never want to lose it. To see these kids design clothes that some professionals are designing, because they’re so talented… I think that needs to get noticed.”
There are a plethora of worthy causes one could choose to support. Brock’s reason for supporting his high school Dobbins is simple… Dobbins played a pivotal role in his life.
“Dobbins is where things started to turn around for me in my life. So that’s why I really connect with my high school and why I always try to go back to do things there,” he said.
Though Brock has collaborated with Dobbins on several projects in the past, Project X struck a chord because the idea of it combined several of his passions simultaneously.
“I always did things at my high school with my foundation,” he said. “I have a record label (BeastModez Entertainment) and I was working with artists. I found out that the school was still having the fashion shows that I did when I was there. I wanted to help the production and get the kids more notoriety for their skills and their talent… I wanted to bring it to life.
“ I wanted to build a production and make it into more of a ‘Rip The Runway’ atmosphere, where you have the talented designers at the school…work with other local artists,” Brock continued. “I’ve had established fashion designers come in to mentor the kids and to be apart of the show. A lot of the kids in the past couple of years have gone off and done a great job… some have started their own businesses and still come back to help and support every now and then. It’s continuing to grow, and I think it’s something great for the kids to display their skills and their abilities.”
Dobbins’ students have an opportunity through a collaborative effort, to reveal their ensembles on the runway giving the Philadelphia community a glimpse of their outstanding capabilities.
“The show will be a great showcase of talent. It will be very close to some professional shows you’ve seen. I think it’s got a lot of potential. It should be a great night and the kids will do an incredible job,” Brock confidently proclaimed.
Tickets for the Project X Fashion Show can be purchased at the door or online via Eventbrite. Put your best fashion foot forward and support Dobbins’ students by attending The Project X Fashion Show!
Raheem Brock will undoubtedly continue to uplift and honor his hometown and communities in need. Visit https://www.raheembrockfoundation.com/ for updates on upcoming events and how you can become involved. Follow his journey @raheembrock.