Faith & Achievement: Lessons from a Life in Football
Matt Birk is a former American football center. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft, and later played for the Baltimore Ravens. He played college football at Harvard. Birk is an All-Pro, six-time Pro Bowl selection, and a Super Bowl champion.
Birk attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was a letterman and standout in football, basketball, and track & field. He was an All-St. Paul Conference honoree, an Academic All-State honoree, and an All-State honoree in both football and basketball.
Birk established the HIKE Foundation in 2002, which seeks to “impact the lives of at-risk children by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide a child through the key educational transitions between elementary, middle, high school and college.” The foundation launched “Ready, Set, Read!” in select Baltimore area public schools in the fall of 2010. The program works with about 100,000 Baltimore students on improving their reading skills through an incentive-based system. Birk received the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2011 for his commitment to improving literacy among at-risk youth.