In the players lounge at Hughes Stadium there is a wall adorned with logos and plaques representing all 32 NFL teams and listing the names of each player to advance to professional football after college. Those particular success stories only represent a very small portion of players who’ve passed through the program of course, and only a small portion of the successes. Colorado State University’s RAM Life program, RAM meaning Real and Meaningful, and Program Director Ricky Santo are on a mission to not only celebrate those after-college-wins, but create as many of them as they can.
“It’s the right thing to do for the athletes.” Santo’s program, started in 2020, is meant to expand opportunities for all of the players, whether they eventually play professionally or not. It’s a role he takes seriously and loves every minute of, “I have the best job in America!”
Organizing job fairs that fit into athletes' busy schedules, building relationships with local and national businesses alike to organize internships or job shadowing - RAM Life is all about connecting these students with professionals and opportunities from a wide variety of industries. The relatively new program has been piloted with the football program but is now set to expand for all the schools dedicated student athletes. Where their lives are often too hectic for jobs during the season or to fully take advantage of all of the career opportunities created by the school, this program is designed to bring those opportunities to the players.
For players like Henry Blackburn, it makes all of the difference. “It means buying into the community,” like many of his teammates, Blackburn considers Fort Collins his home. “We’re really connecting with these people and setting up relationships. Whether it’s in three years or down the road after playing in the NFL, when we come to life after football we’re going to have these connections.”
Always looking to create more chances for his student athletes to gain experience, Santo encourages businesses of any size and from any industry to reach out, participate in their September job fair, and take an extra step to support the home team, and deepen the connection these talented young men and women feel in our community.
Reach out to him via email to get involved! email@example.com