February 11, 2012 by staff
Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher’s path to playing in the NFL was one where he not only faced adversity, but overcame it. The Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman, who came from a broken home and bleak circumstances, experienced something many other children still endure and try to escape.
On Friday, Oher came to Prince Street Elementary School to share his experiences with both parents and students alike about the struggles and challenges he’s overcome in his book, “I Beat the Odds.” He made two visits to the school, one in the morning focusing on youth and again in the evening during a public event.
“There are a lot of kids out there who are where I was 10-15 years ago and I want to be a role model for them,” he said. “My life has definitely made me a harder person and made me know that you can’t stop when you face adversity. People already look up to me and I just want to let them know that I’ve been where some of them might be now.”
Oher grew up in poverty with a mother addicted to drugs and was shuffled in and out of the foster care system. He even found himself homeless before being placed in the care of foster parents Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy and finding success on the football field and eventually being drafted by the Ravens in 2009.
During Friday’s events, Oher responded to questions, commented briefly and signed paperback copies of “I Beat the Odds.” In the morning, Oher spoke not only with Prince Street students but students from Pinehurst Elementary and Salisbury Middle schools.
The 2011 book, which was co-written by Oher and Don Yaeger, is not the only publication that has profiled his life. Oher’s story was chronicled in Michael Lewis’s “The Blind Side” and in “In a Heartbeat,” written by the Tuohys. “The Blind Side” was adapted into a 2009 film starring Sandra Bullock and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
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