When you think of a 23 year old professional athlete, one thing that becomes a factor into the discussion is their personal life. Often times it’s what the players do off of the field verses on the field that makes headlines, and not in a pleasing way.
However 23 year old defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron is doing the polar opposite, highlighting an impressive off the field performance while continuing to strive for the opportunity to make an impact on the field. Cameron spent the last three weeks of the 2012 season on the Eagles practice squad. Now with Chip Kelly being the new man in charge, catching his attention along with the other coaching staff is his next mission. In a recent article featured on PhillyMag, Cameron opens up giving insight into who he is as a young man and his mission in life.
A son of two immigrant parents –father from Trinidad and mother from Haiti- Cameron, who spent his younger years in Westbury N.Y, was instilled with the principals to gain an education throughout his life courtesy of his parents. In result, Cameron was determined to not only obtain a college degree but also his MBA all while playing college football.
He started playing at Hofstra, but since the school axed the football program it promoted him to transfer to Old Dominion, where he achieved his MBA in Information Technology.
“I took an extremely heavy workload, but it was one of those things where that was my goal going into college –to get both degrees done while I was still playing ball. “ Cameron said. “I had to take a hit in terms of a social life, but I vowed to make that happen.”
His mission to not only education himself but also share his knowledge to others didn’t stop after he graduated. During his last season with the Cleveland Browns, Cameron embarked on a vision which later transformed into a site that he describes as a network of awareness, good works, and engagement. His vision became a reality when he started the Web site called Bonfire Impact.
“The mission is to reach out to people of all different walks of life and have them come together in one place and learn and become more aware, so they can have the knowledge and the information they need to help other people who are need of help,” Cameron explained.
“I felt like there was another platform that was necessary for people who were doing the right things,” Cameron said. “I actually read the news a lot, and it’s always negative coverage- whether it be politics or crime.
“I first hand got to hear from a lot of great people, and I feel like that needed more media attention. I took it upon myself to just start the company myself.”
Cameron isn’t just standing at some special event being seen occasionally for photo ops, nor is he simply just writing a check for a good cause. Cameron saw a vision for himself and propelled it to higher heights by helping out a large array of people by defiantly making a Bonfire Impact.
Although the young 23 year old has bounced around a lot in the league, -originally signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent, then getting picked up by the Browns, and now on the practice squad of the Eagles- Cameron is still optimistic and harbors no ill feelings but looks at his situation in a positive light.
“It’s kind of been a blessing to jump around the NFL a little bit because you meet so many great people who all stand for the same things. And now, through the Web site, giving them a venue to learn more, or even express their own words.”