Vad Lee and Myer Krah are best friends from Durham, North Carolina who share a passion for football. Lee played quarterback at Georgia Tech University for three years, and transferred to James Madison University where he started at quarterback for two years and compiled 68 total touchdowns and over 7,000 total yards of offense. Krah has played at the United States Naval Academy for four years where he has played both defensive back and outside linebacker. Both Lee and Krah recently finished their collegiate football careers as Lee graduated in December, and Krah is set to graduate next year.
While both Lee and Krah share a fiery passion for football, they share another passion: helping others succeed. Around January of 2012, the two friends came up with an idea to help kids at their high school, Hillside High School. After talking through things they created the All In Foundation.
“Well Myer and I are both creative minds,” Lee said. “We always like to give back, and we like to put smiles on people’s faces, and through that we were able to start this All In Foundation.”
The Name “All In” stems from Lee and Krah’s senior year at Hillside High School when they went 16-0 and won their state championship, a feat, which Lee and the team predicted before the season.
“That’s something that we kept alive, and we kept true to our promise to the state,” Lee said. “We just wanted to keep that going in the Hillside tradition, and to keep our state championship alive. We wanted to sport some of that “All In” legacy that we left, and be able to make it stand for life.”
Lee and Krah have been able to live their dreams of going off to college, and playing football, but creating opportunities for others at Hillside High School to fulfill that dream is a dream itself.
“We had a few guys go to college from our class, but a lot of the guys we knew who played football really well didn’t have the grades,” Krah said. “We wanted to make sure that more of our guys had the opportunity to go to college so we figured out times where we could go back and speak to the guys so we thought another way to help was we could start a scholarship.”
Since 2012, when the two started the foundation, they have raised money for scholarships for football players at Hillside. They started by raising money out of pocket, and by asking coaches and mothers around the area for donations. The first year they raised around $500, but it has doubled every year with $1,000 the second year, and $2,000 this past year. The $2,000 from this past year was split into two scholarships for two Hillside football players, Keith Beasley who will be attending North Carolina, and Gerald Wilkes Jr. who will be attending Campbell University.
While at the moment, the idea of the All In Foundation is to help football players at Hillside High School; expansion to other schools, and even athletes of other sports is a definite option.
“So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to go from our sport to other sports at Hillside, and from that, the other schools so we can try to tackle all of Durham,” Krah said. “Speaking to our mentors, they want us to become very organized with what we have at Hillside first so as we begin to expand, everything is a whole lot easier as far as networking with people. In the future we definitely want to hop around to other schools in the area, and kind of tackle all those things, and get other people on board.”
Along with the All In Foundation and football, Lee and Krah make time for other activities. Lee spends time hanging out with some young men at a middle school in Harrisburg, Virginia, and even has a special name for it. He calls is Together Young Men Excel, or TYME for short.
“That’s something that’s been really big while I’ve been in Harrisburg,” Lee said. “Just clinging to those guys, bringing them to practices; bringing them to games, and hanging out with them on weekends; it’s something that’s been really valuable to me.”
Krah is involved in a number of organizations at Navy. He’s part of a few clubs including the Midshipmen Black Studies Club and the National Society of Black Engineers, an organization of which he is the vice president. In addition he has a passion for helping out kids around Annapolis.
“I know a lot of times people go towards the bigger cities to help over there, such as D.C. and Baltimore, but we’re trying to focus on our neighbors,” Krah said. “It’s kind of like what you see in your backyard, because there are definitely people or kids who need help in our backyards. Anywhere we can help, that’s what we’re going to do.”
While Lee and Krah are actively working to help the future of others, they themselves have bright futures to look ahead to. Lee was among the best FCS football players in the nation the past two years, and will be entering his name in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’ll be staying at school this next semester to train for that, but he’ll also be working for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“I’ll be able to do both of my dreams,” Lee said. “My dreams always were to play football, and to spread the Gospel, and I’ll be able to do both of those next semester without school. Those will be my two obligations next semester, and I’m excited about that.”
Krah on the other hand still has one more semester of school, and will be graduating in May of 2016. From there he will move to Norfolk, Virginia where he’ll be joining the Surface Warfare community.
Both Lee and Krah are headed separate ways in terms of their career paths, but their friendship along with their big hearts will never change.
“I love the feeling, being able to help out more and more people especially in places where I’ve put the most effort towards,” Krah said. “Making the program better, and spending hard times through the sweat and blood has been highly rewarding, and doing all that with my best friend; I love it.”
Lee and Krah have set up a GoFundMe account for the All In Foundation, which they hope will help raise money for the next scholarships they hand out. They have doubled their goal each year, and they hope to go even further in 2016.