From supporting other charitable organizations and offering programs through his own foundation, Ricky is passionate about giving back to his community. While an average NFL player's career is 3.5 years, Ricky enjoyed a successful 11-year career which he is thankful for every day. Over that period, Ricky gained overwhelming support from his fans worldwide. Giving back to those in need is a way for him to show appreciation for the many years of faithful support.
Ricky Watters Family Foundation
The Ricky Watters Family Foundation was founded by Ricky and his wife Catherina to directly impact the lives of foster and at risk youth. As an adoptee himself, Ricky is just as passionate when it comes to mentoring as he is about playing football. Ricky has always believed that by sharing his personal story and many challenges he faced as a youth and young adult, he will encourage children and teens to never give up until they reach their goals.
The foundation’s mission is to encourage and equip young people to become leaders in their communities. RWFF strives to build self-confidence and self-worth through one-on-one mentoring, life skills training, exposure to the arts and music, sports, and different cultures. RWFF supports local charities and organizations who are equally dedicated to improving the quality of life in our communities through fostering the social and academic development of at-risk youth who include children in foster care, children in low income single parent homes and young adults who have aged out of the foster care system.
After retiring from the NFL in 2002, Ricky self published his autobiography “For Who For What: A Warrior’s Journey.” Ricky uses this book as an inspirational tool to help motivate youth, help build their self confidence and help them achieve their goals in life. He hopes that after reading about his struggles in life, they will see that anything is possible with hard work and dedication and a little patience.
Community Awards and Highlights
Ricky Watters Foundation Founder 1998-2008
Urban Youth League Founder 2008-present
Eagles Fly for Leukemia Honorary Spokesperson1995-1998
American Cancer Society Humanitarian of the Year 1993, 1994
Unity-One/Amer-I-Can Honorary Board Member 2003-2006
Morehouse College Honorary Guest Speaker 2005
Wall Street Project Honorary Guest Speaker 2005
Notre Dame Club of Greater Orlando Good Fellow 2008
Honorary Chairman PA Big 33 Game 2010
Honorary Captain Seattle Seahawks 2010
Central Florida Sports Commission Hall of Fame 2011
Adopt A Child For The Holidays: A holiday gathering to support children living in residential foster facilities during the most sensitive time of the year. Most of these children are not able to visit family during the holidays and it is most noticeable during the holidays. We provide a bridge for financially stable families to reach out to those less fortunate and to learn more about mentoring programs within the foster care system
Ricky Watters Celebrity Golf and Gala was most recently held at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando Florida. Previous events featured celebrity guests such as Lou Holtz, Julius Erving, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Viola and other notable professional athletes and icons in the community. Original art work is featured by world class Painter of Legends Armando Delgado. www.painteroflegends.
Ricky Watters Pro Football Experience: Football camp offered for ages 6-18. Instruction by Ricky and his former teammates from the NFL and Notre Dame to those who are serious about learning the skills the professionals use. Scholarships are offered to those families with below median incomes and teens in residential foster care.