TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston went back to school Tuesday to unveil his first Jameis Winston Dream Room.
He received a big welcome from the students at Alexander Elementary. But as happy as they were to see the face of the Bucs' franchise, it was Winston who wore the widest grin.
"Kids are so curious," Winston told FOX 13. "They just want a smile and they want to learn. So me being able to kind of interact and get personal with them lets them see, 'Hey, I can do this. OK, I gave Jameis Winston a high-five. OK, I can do anything I put my mind to. Whoever though he would ever come to this school.' So it kind of just shows them that anything is possible."
After hundreds of high fives, it was time for the reveal. Winston opened the door on the first of what he hopes will be many dream rooms, which are a new state-of-the-art technology centers that afford kids opportunities Winston didn't have growing up in Alabama.
"To find out that some of these kids don't have wifi at home," continued Winston, "they don't have the iPads. I was like, 'These kids need to be on a level playing field as the rest of the kids in the world.' Being able to give them these up-to-date resources, to give them a space to come in and level that playing field out is kind of important to me."
From new iPads to robotics to a 3D printer, the dream room is Winston's charity of choice. He feels a calling to help cultivate children.
"Kids are the foundation of our world," he continued. "You have to serve them, for them to grow. Ultimately that helps everything."
Winston's Dream Forever Foundation came up with this concept over the last six months and it took just two weeks to transform the room. The school and the kids couldn't be more appreciative.
"This room is awesome," fourth-grader Daniella Fernandez told Winston. "Thank you for funding money for it."
Jameis Winston knows there is a limited window in NFL careers. The impact he's making with these dream rooms is leaving a long-term legacy.
"This is the first one," Winston said with a big smile. "Right now I'm just focusing on the process, getting this Dream Room started. I can't wait to hear the feedback from these kids and from the teachers. Just to see how it's really impacting them. Today is fun because it's the reveal, but three months from now we are really going to be able to see the steps that we took. You reap what you sow, so we are going to be able to see what came from this Dream Room."