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Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins Surprises Withrow Students and Teachers as Part of School of Swagger Event

A-B-C-DEY? Nearly 250 Withrow University High School students were honored for their academic performance and good citizenship during multiple special events that included Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins along with representatives from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, the Cincinnati Bengals and Procter & Gamble.  

The special day was part of the School of Swagger initiative led by Old Spice in partnership with Walmart and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. School of Swagger is committed to ensuring no student drops out of high school due to a lack of confidence by creating positive personal and academic relationships through mentorship.

The day kicked off with a panel discussion for career-based students that included Deborah Haas, marketing and public relations manager, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati; Juwan Thompson, brand manager, Procter & Gamble; Duane Haring, director of ticket sales and services, Cincinnati Bengals; Emily Parker, director of communications, Cincinnati Bengals; and Abasi Key, JCG Senior Ed., Withrow University High School. The panel was moderated by Mackenzie Metcalf, an 11th-grade English and college and career seminar teacher.

“I wouldn’t be teaching if I didn’t have mentors in my life,” said Metcalf. “I was the kid who was probably getting written up for truancy and not graduating. If it wasn’t for my 12th-grade English teacher, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college.”

After the panel, A/B honor students and good citizens were recognized at a surprise pep rally featuring Higgins along with Bengals cheerleaders. Higgins reflected on his career and shared the importance mentorship played as he struggled to find his way while in high school. He cited his high school guidance counselor, who looked out for him and laid down a plan for him to succeed not just in school, but in life.

Students asking questions Higgins said the best part of the day was “to inspire the kids to do the right things and go on the right path.” An important piece of advice he shared – always challenge yourself in anything and everything you do; that life is going to throw challenges at you and by challenging yourself, you’re going to be better prepared to handle what comes your way.

Special shoutouts and prizes were given to students Ca’Vonte Moore, Giovaughni Garcia-Moore, Malachi Mosley, Foste Zibishiri, Anais Morales, Christopher Dunlap, Amarie Weathersby and Eric Huff as well as teachers Key and Metcalf, who have worked hard to promote career readiness and exposure.

Metcalf said being recognized was amazing. “You come every day and you hope and pray you do a good job, and your students succeed. To be recognized for your efforts really means a lot.”


Higgins presented Metcalf with a gift for her outstanding dedication to students