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Balance & Stability

Abdul-Karim Al-Jabbar

Being a football player that has made it to our level, you're used to being able to push and really depend on  yourself to make it happen and having to reach out and ask for help, it felt uncomfortable. I needed help with my two autistic children and I needed help going back to school to boost my fitness business. Both of these things were coming on me at the same time. I needed help navigating the schools and getting my children the proper services at home. You can not do that alone as a parent. The PAT fund has done more than just provide finances for my family. They provided an educational advocate to support us in the school system, supported us emotionally, supported us socially. Frankly, if you don't have someone to advocate for you to the school system, with autistic children, rarely do you get the services you need.

The PAT fund is more than just the money. It's about really reaching in and finding out what my family needed: an opportunity for balance and stability. Autism can be rocky. Having the PAT fund there to support us, I can't tell you how appreciative we are. Me and my family are doing well and had I not had that opportunity, I would still be struggling.

Abdul-Karim Al-Jabbar

NFL Player 1996-2000

2017 GUPAT Grant Recipient

Background photo: Brian Bahr/Getty Images

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