Vikings and nonprofit hold virtual experience for students after trip canceled

Dr. Damion Thomas, the curator of sports history at the the National Museum of African American History and Culture gives a virtual tour during an event with the Vikings and Project Success.

When a local nonprofit that typically teams up with the Minnesota Vikings to send kids on a trip to Washington D.C. had to cancel their trip this year, they decided to bring history to kids right at home.

Project Success is a nonprofit that works with 16,000 students in the Minneapolis school district from age 11 to seniors in high school.

“We work to connect students to their purpose and create experiences and tools to help them plan for their future,” said Adrienne Diercks, the executive director of Project Success.

All of those experiences had to be moved online this year, including what would have been their annual trip to Washington D.C. with the Vikings to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Through Zoom, that visit turned into a virtual one. Also on the call was Dr. Damion Thomas, the curator of sports history at the museum.

“It’s really my job to try to tell African-American history through sports and I absolutely love it,” said Dr. Thomas.

Some Minnesota Vikings players popped in, like linebacker Anthony Barr who showed off what’s inspiring him lately.

“So this is my plant,” said Barr. “I recently became a plant dad and I’ve been taking care of these plants and it’s really inspiring growth and change.”

Students even got to have conversations with real world change makers, like football Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page.
“It is important to seek excellence and seeking excellence not for the sake of winning, not for the sake of being better than the person next to you, but so you can achieve your highest self,” said Page.

Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf also awarded ten $1,000 scholarships to current and former Project Success students.