He's Got WINGS

The real story behind Oscar-winning movie The Blind Side shows how Michael Oher overcame tremendous odds with the help of his adoptive family to make choices that were “what’s best for me to do,” as the WINGS Creed says, and graduate from college and become a first-round NFL draft pick.

Hollywood Happy Ending for Kid Whose Choices Broke Cycle of Poverty

Michael’s extraordinary story makes a Hollywood happy ending. He says he’s the first person he ever knew in his tough Memphis, TN, neighborhood to graduate from high school, much less attend college. He was drafted to play football for the Baltimore Ravens.

“Anything is possible,” says Michael, 23. “My background is a bad background, but a lot of people said I couldn’t do it.”

His childhood was rough – a crack-addicted mother and an absent father, living in Hurt Village housing project and homeless for a time. He went to 11 schools in 9 years, cut class often and his grades were a disaster. By the ninth grade, Michael’s grade point average was .06, but he vowed, “I wanted to be something in life.” He had help from a well-to-do, caring family – the determined mother is portrayed by Sandra Bullock, who won an Oscar. But the family makes it clear that Michael had to make different choices – to focus on classwork, to get up early and stay up late studying, to accept help and keep trying when he faltered.

And Michael says his story is proof positive that making the right choices pays off for anyone and everyone. “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

For his inspiring determination to make the best choices for himself, Michael has WINGS.