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Mitchell: 'That inspires me'


When Mike Mitchell intercepted Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel at the goal line this past Sunday, thwarting a potential touchdown drive, the Steelers faithful at Heinz Field went crazy.

But nobody was more excited than the kids at the game from the Urban Impact Foundation, kids that were guests of Mitchell's as a part of his Believe to Achieve Ticket Program.

"They were pumped," said Mitchell. "Initially they were a little shy when I met them. That is humbling. I made them feel comfortable and they were themselves. When you see the kids open up and have fun that is the blessing you get out of it."

Mike Mitchell gave four boys from Urban Impact Foundation an experience of a lifetime.

Mitchell kicked off the program last week, and will continue it for the final two home games, donating tickets to Urban Impact to bring kids to the game for an opportunity they wouldn't get to otherwise enjoy.

"I just think it's important to give back," said Mitchell. "I didn't grow up rich or anything like that, but I had two really good parents and that was tremendous and influential and the reason why I am successful. I had a friend that didn't grow up that way, grew up a lot rougher. I think about our two lives and there really is not a difference between the two of us other than I had two good role models in my life and he didn't.

"Now that I have become somewhat successful in my life I would like to help kids like that. The thing for me is I want to target the youth, younger kids that can still be impacted but aren't too young. Kids that are old enough that somebody, maybe the right person can say something to them, or an event could put them on the right path so they can become successful."

Mitchell choose Urban Impact, a faith based youth organization that was created to help at risk children and underprivileged youth of Pittsburgh, because he believes in their mission and they are reaching out to the youth he knows need the help.

"I love that they are faith-based," said Mitchell. "I am a guy that believes in God, believes that you can change the core of a person if you introduce them to Christ."

Mitchell had four kids plus chaperones at the game, the same he will do for the Colts and Broncos games. And it's not just about giving them the tickets. He is giving something much more valuable, his time. After the game he meets with them, introduces them to some teammates, gives them a tour of Heinz Field, and just spends time getting to know them.

"That is where I want the impact to come from," said Mitchell. "I get to talk to them one-on-one. It might not be a lot of time, but I will share a positive message with them and usually it's faith based. The thing I love about Urban Impact is one of their main messages is they want to change the city one person at a team, one family at a time, one neighborhood at a time. That inspires me.

"I let them know about me, my family and how I was raised. Hopefully that can shed a positive light, and hopefully ignite a fire in their life that can start that fire that burns throughout the city."

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