In a world where success is often measured by athletic achievements, Aaron Maybin stands out as a true Renaissance man. This 35-year-old contemporary artist, educator, community activist, author, and former professional football player from Baltimore City, Maryland, has defied convention and embarked on a remarkable journey of personal and societal transformation. From his days as an All-American defensive end at Penn State University to his decision to walk away from the NFL and pursue a career as a professional artist, Aaron has become a symbol of inspiration, using his platform to advocate for racial and economic equality, arts education, and youth empowerment.
Selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Aaron Maybin demonstrated his exceptional talent on the football field. He went on to play for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals, enjoying a successful five-year career. However, Aaron's passion for art and his desire to address social issues led him to make a bold decision. Leaving behind the glitz and glamour of professional sports, he embarked on a new path as a professional artist, activist, author, educator, and community organizer.
Aaron's transition from the NFL to the art world has received widespread attention from major media outlets, including ESPN, CBS, Fox, and even an HBO documentary. Through his art, photography, and writing, he explores socially relevant themes and issues, drawing from his personal experiences as a professional athlete and as a young Black man in America. His exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide provide a powerful platform for advocacy, shedding light on racial injustice, economic inequality, and the importance of arts education.
Recognizing the challenges faced by underprivileged and at-risk youth, Aaron established Project Mayhem in 2009. This initiative provides personal and economic aid, empowering young individuals to transcend their current circumstances. Through art workshops and curricula implemented in Baltimore City schools facing budget cuts, Aaron has made a lasting impact on the lives of countless students. His Art Activism Curriculum is now taught in multiple schools, fostering creativity, literacy, and critical thinking among students who would otherwise have limited access to such opportunities.
Aaron Maybin's tireless efforts extend beyond the realm of education and art. Collaborating with fellow football player Torrey Smith, they united with the Baltimore Ravens football team to renovate the Hilton Recreation Center in west Baltimore. Their joint foundation committed an astounding $20 million to transform the center, creating a safe space for the community and promoting recreational activities for local youth. Aaron's commitment to social change has earned him numerous accolades, including the Fox45 Martin Luther King Jr. Champion of Courage Award and an executive board membership at the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation.
In a world often defined by boundaries and stereotypes, Aaron Maybin's extraordinary journey serves as an inspiration to us all. From his impressive career as a professional football player to his remarkable dedication to art, activism, and education. Aaron's story reminds us of the power of personal transformation and the importance of using our voices to advocate for change. Aaron Maybin continues to make a profound impact, being the first to receive the inaugural impact award from Penn State. Not only in Baltimore but also across the nation, Aaron Maybin has impacted several lives.