The Jarrett Payton Foundation History
In September 2006, Jarrett Payton was released from the Tennessee Titans. Sports was all he knew his entire life and for the first time Jarrett had to face a question: What was he going to do if he didn't have football? It was a question Jarrett didn’t answer alone.
Three months before leaving the Titans he met his future wife Trisha and together they started to chart a new course for Jarrett. Knowing his football life might be over, it was time to think about “life outside of football.” So Trisha and Jarrett started to make a list of things most important to him and education, sports and mentoring were the top three categories.
Over the next four to five years Jarrett did continue to play football in Montreal, Toronto and with the Chicago Slaughter, but during all this time, the “life after football” list continued to grow.
Retiring on his terms, in 2010 Jarrett left football. He took advantage of small business opportunities and broadcasting but there was something Jarrett was missing.
The ONE reoccurring thing on the “life after football” list was his idea to give back to the community. From a very early age, his mother, Connie, and father, Walter, taught Jarrett and his sister, Brittney, the value of giving back and how fortunate they could use their Payton family name in helping others.
The “life after football” list was finally coming to fruition.
Over the years Jarrett had done a lot in the community but he wanted to move forward with making a difference for an organization with his name on it. Trisha often times says, "Jarrett will walk into an event being known as Walter Payton's son, but he will be remembered when he leaves the room as Jarrett Payton." That was his goal. He wanted to be remembered for his passionate work in the community.
Blending education, sports and mentoring, in 2011, Jarrett and Trisha started The Jarrett Payton Foundation (JPF).
It wasn’t hard to come up with a mission statement that embodied what Jarrett is all about:
The Jarrett Payton Foundation is committed to positively impacting the lives of children and adolescents physically, emotionally, and psychologically by creating and providing programs that present them with a wide variety of opportunities specifically designed to develop their leadership skills and enrich their lives.
JPF is Jarrett and Trisha’s donation to society. Together, they commit a large amount of volunteer time to their charity but both continue their full-time careers outside JPF. While Jarrett is the person speaking at schools and attending events, Trisha is the back office planning events, scheduling school visits and handling everything else that makes a viable foundation grow. Of course neither would be able to run JPF without a dedicated team built largely by volunteers and Jarrett and Trisha know how fortunate they are to have such dedicated individuals.
JPF is no longer a “life after football” list, it’s a way of life for the Payton family.