Boys & Girls Club member interviews Green Bay Packers safety on podcast

Local youth created a connection with an NFL player for a class project

Opportunities and dreams do come true, especially for kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Bay & Lakes Region. It started with such a detailed question, it should have come from an NFL coach, not a young kid.

Beckett, a Club member, was at a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway being hosted by Jonathan Owens on the east side of Green Bay. As other kids were asking the Green Bay Packers safety what his favorite color and foods were, Beckett asked, “So Jonathan, late in the 3rd quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on the far side of the field there was a fumble – did you think you could get there to recover it?”

The depth of the question caught Owens off guard and made him think: Who is this kid? Is he studying film?

Beckett, a sports fanatic, was intrigued by the opportunity to meet and talk with a professional NFL player. “It was really cool to meet him and ask football questions,” he said.

After Christmas break, he was assigned a class project to interview a local leader in the community. Beckett immediately asked Ben Perkovich, Club’s Regional Director of Clubhouse Operations, for help.

Perkovich knew the enthusiasm of Beckett and what the possibility of interviewing an NFL star would do for him. After many conversations, which included his mother, he reached out to Owens’s management team to see if there was a possibility for a video podcast interview. Jonathan agreed and Sportz on Shortz was born.

“At Club, we are always striving to make kids’ dreams come true,” Perkovich said. “Beckett has lofty goals and we decided this was a special chance for him to pursue his passion with the support of Club.  It was enjoyable to see the smile on Beckett and his family’s faces when the podcast happened. I also want to thank Jonathan and his team for giving Beckett this incredible moment.”

The video podcast wasn’t created by Club staff alone. Craig Knitt, creative arts specialist, helped Beckett and nine other Club members to design, script, produce and edit the podcast.

The end product was a nearly 15-minute video podcast with Beckett and Jonathan asking each other questions and telling jokes. During the interview, Beckett asked Jonathan about his football journey to the NFL, how to start a foundation and what his plans after when football is done.

“The confidence of Beckett has skyrocketed,” said his mother, Becca. “Thank you to the Boys & Girls Club for making this happen. It is a memory Beckett and our entire family will never forget.”

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