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Derrick Johnson's Defend the Dream Foundation

DJ helped students gear up for school

Earlier this week, Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson helped students get ready to head back to school through the event, Gearing Up, which provides school supplies and backpacks to local students.

"This is a program called Gearing Up, it's a way to bring awareness to children's education," Johnson said. "It's important for these kids to understand how vital education is. It's a program that is very dear to my heart; my mom was a school teacher for 40 years and she emphasized the important of an education."

On Tuesday Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson passed out backpacks to kids with help from State Farm.

Through Derrick Johnson's Defend the Dream Foundation and with the sponsorship of State Farm Insurance, almost 200 Kansas City students received backpacks full of school supplies to help them get ready for the start of the school year.

"This event was a great way to help local children as they prepare for the school year and we are so happy we could be involved," Sonya Robinson, Vice President Agency Sales at State Farm Insurance noted. "Part of our mission is to help people realize their dreams, so the event with Derrick Johnson is a way to help kids realize their potential and encourage them to continue their education."

There were students from the Rose Brooks Center, the Police Athletic League, Kansas City Missouri School District schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters attending the event.

"We had 'bigs' and their 'littles' at the event, along with kids who have been on our waiting list that have not been matched yet," Scott Cruce, Director of Recruitment for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City mentioned. "It means so much to us that DJ invited these kids to the event. It was incredible for these children to be a part of it."

The Derrick Johnson Defend the Dream Foundation strives to provide low income and inner city young people with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential. The foundation was founded in 2012 with the goal of impacting lives in Kansas City.

"It means a lot to me to be a part of this community; we have a great platform through the NFL and it's awesome to use it in a positive way," Johnson noted. "To give back to this community is amazing, I'm happy to help them and help these children."

To learn more about Johnson's foundation, visit

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