Advice to my younger self: When your athletic career ends, your vocation begins.

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This month students of the World, along with When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation and Pivot TV, launched iAspire for Her, a campaign that engaged athletes from across the US to stand up for the women that they love. We invited former Seattle Seahawk Kerry Carter to share his advice on being both an athlete and standing up for the causes that you care most about.

If I could impart any advice to young athletes, it’s to remember that when your collegiate career and—if you’re lucky enough—your professional career end, that’s when your vocation begins.

Not vacation, although all retirees look forward to that. I mean vocation. Your calling. Your purpose. The causes and the people that you give your time and support to, where you can use your influence both on and off the field to make a difference.

With all of the negative attention surrounding the behavior of players in the NFL and NCAA, we must be reminded that these individuals are only a tiny fraction of the football population. The overwhelming majority of athletes are hardworking, dedicated, and disciplined men of character on and off the field. This attention does offer those with a positive message and a passion for real change a platform to be heard.

That’s why I am thrilled to support a new campaign from the called iAspire for Her that encourages athletes and young men to stand up against sexual assault. It provides both a platform and a call to action that addresses a very serious topic and gives student athletes an opportunity to be a leader in their community.

This campaign celebrates the women in our lives who have helped us make it to where we are today—and we all know how influential our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and significant others have been along the way. They are our biggest champions, and we would do anything to protect them.

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That’s why I encourage you to join in and post your #iAspire for Her pledge. I’ve invited some friends to join in and share why they are posting, too. I want to challenge you to use your influence among your peers and your fans to start to find your own vocation, take action, and make a difference.

Kerry Carter is a Stanford alumnus and former professional NFL player with the Seattle Seahawks and 2x Grey Cup champion with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.  Today he runs the Apex Agency in Seattle, WA. To learn more about the campaign, sponsored by When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation, visit iAspireForHer.com.

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Kerry Carter

Stanford, ’03

Seattle Seahawks

Who #iAspire For

iAspire for my grandmother Ruth, mother Virginia, my fiancée Christa, and my daughter Layana. iAspire because they are my foundation, my future, my legacy, and they represent what is good and right in the world for me. I am supporting iAspire for Her because I want to ask how much different would the issue of sexual assault be if it happened to someone you care about, someone that you love and respect? The renowned American psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It is about time we change the dialogue, adjust our perspective, make it personal, get angry, but know how to direct that anger toward positive actions that eventually change us.

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Coy Wire

Stanford ‘02

Buffalo Bills // Atlanta Falcons

Who #iAspire For

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iAspire for my wife Claire. There have been far too many women who have been abused by despicable and malevolent men. Take a stand against sexual assault.

Tank Williams

Stanford ‘02

Tennessee Titans // Minnesota Vikings // New England Patriots

Who #iAspire For

iAspire for my wife Erica, my mom, my sister, and all the special women in my life. Domestic violence has recently come to the forefront but it’s an issue that has warranted serious attention for some time now. Protect the women you love and stand with me against sexual assault so we can put an end to these heinous crimes.

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Paul Cheng

Simon Fraser University ‘02

BC Lions // One FC MMA

Who #iAspire For

iAspire For my girlfriend Kelsey and my sister Yi fan, because they are the women I love in my life and women should not be a victim of sexual assault.

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Jason Willis

Oregon ‘03

Seattle Seahawks // Miami Dolphins

Who #iAspire For

iAspire For my mom Yvonne Willis and my sister Trakia Willis Walker. No man should ever treat the women in their lives without the utmost love and respect that they deserve.

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Ramon Martin Del Campo

School: University of California, Davis

Sport: Soccer

Year: Senior

Major: History & Minor: Coaching

I aspire for my mother Susy Martin del Campo.

She has protected me from the dangers of this world. She has raised me into a loving and courageous gentlemen, and she deserves to be recognized. She deserves to know that I’ll do my best to protect her forever.

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The #iAspire campaign is really important because it highlights that men care about these issues. We aren't all bad and we are taking a stand through #iAspire for Her. Moving forward and having men and women in this together means that we can move mountains.

Adam Smith

School: University of San Francisco

Sport: Cross Country

Year: Masters Student

I aspire for Sydnie Telson and Chelsea King, two people drive me to be the best I can be.

It is because of sexual assault and violence that I lost one of my dearest friends. I aspired for Chelsea King, one of my closest high school friends who lost her life due a perpetrator of sexual assault. I met Chelsea through mutual friends and through running cross country in high school. Over the years I grew to admire her eclectic and uplifting personality. She was the kind of person who had a positive impact on everyone she interacted with, and her philosophies on life reflected this. Chelsea was a lover of underrated music, existentialist literature, bizarre television shows and overall the betterment of herself and those around her. I aspire for her because of the outstanding qualities she had that brought her friends, family and community together. Tragically, this was exemplified as she went missing for five days late in our senior year of high school. While out on a casual run at a local park she was targeted by a sexual predator, raped and murdered. She was someone that could always make me laugh, give new perspectives on life and challenge me to embrace my passions.

I also aspired for Sydnie. She is a talented athlete at the University of San Francisco who brings flair and energy to the soccer field. She also brings an unmatched energy and enthusiasm in her everyday interactions. When I am having a tough day or just need a pick-me-up, Syd is someone I can go to in order to turn things around, and as a result, I recognize that she is someone for whom I can aspire to be an upstanding citizen.

It is because of the heinous acts my friends, family, community, and I witnessed that the #iAspire campaign has such a weighted impact on me, and I feel compelled to show people that this is not a topic that should be taken lightly. Too often, rape and sexual violence are trivialized. They are made into jokes, and in doing so these topics are inadvertently perpetuated. By participating in the #iAspire campaign, we all can make a statement by recognizing a few of the people in our lives that we would do anything to protect.

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Jonah Williams

School: Temple University

Sport: Soccer

Year: Senior

Major: Advertising

I aspire for all the women who are close to me. My mother, my sister, my girlfriend, and the girls I'm lucky enough to call friends.

I aspire for my girlfriend because she has been my rock for the past year and a half. Through the highs and lows of our relationship I've always loved her. I want her to always feel and remain safe. Living on the east coast I am away from my family, she has always had my back and allowed me to feel comfortable despite the distance from home.

As an athlete we are high profile people. I feel that the recent isolated incidents of sexual assault have taken away from the overwhelming consensus of the athletes who stand against sexual assault. I know that I can have an impact. My opinion matters and it is important to voice my stance. I am extremely supportive of this movement.

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Armand Bagramyan

School: University of California, Santa Barbara

Sport: Soccer

Year: Sophomore

Major: Communications

I aspire for Monica Bagramyan.

She is my mother and she has done everything for me. I’d be nowhere without her.

I think it is important to spread the word on sexual assault and to notify the world on how serious this case is. At UCSB last year we had a situation where a young woman was assaulted on our campus and the perpetrators were never found. l believe that this campaign will get the word out and show how big this issue truly is around the world.

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Matthew Glover

School: University of San Francisco

Sport: Basketball

Year: Senior

Major: Communications

I aspire for my mom and sisters.

I dedicated my post to them because I know they all have dealt with sexual assault, so I don't want it to happen to them ever again.

I think it is important to participate in the #iAspire campaign because not everyone knows it is completely wrong and are brought up seeing [sexual assault] so much growing up or around that makes them immune to it. I grew up around influential females and they taught me the right way to treat women.

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