Proud to Be From Pittsburgh

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Orange Arrow

A local nonprofit is making us proud to be from Pittsburgh.  Orange Arrow is helping young student athletes learn to excel off the field by teaching them life and social skills.

Shawn Robinson started Orange Arrow in 2013.  The former University of Pittsburgh cornerback said he wanted to make a difference and empower children in Pittsburgh.

"We're geared toward young student athletes, because so many want to be the next Larry Fitzgerald, or the next Sidney Crosby. While those dreams are great, we know less than 99% play at a professional level. We believe it's important to develop life and social skills, no matter what your career path may be," said Robinson.

Robinson was a star cornerback at Pitt and had his sights set on the NFL. That all changed quickly going into his junior year.

"I was in a minor car accident, which altered my career and my playing. I ended up losing my position and ultimately, it wasn't my destiny to go to the NFL," he said.  "It's what we call our moment of truth."

Robinson's truth inspired Orange Arrow's and its Overtime Program. It works with middle school children because he says that's such an important age.

"We developed some curriculum dealing with leadership and decorum, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, financial management and peer coaching. Current student-athletes are coaches in the classroom," he said.

Student-athletes from Pitt and Robert Morris University serve as mentors.

At a recent assembly at Allegheny Middle School, Robinson and Orange Arrow kept it fun. The students played a trivia game on etiquette, and had a tie-tying contest.

Orange Arrow is holding its inaugural fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 9, on the eve of the big Pitt-Penn State matchup.

"The goal is to impact the young student athletes here in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, then duplicate what we're doing and partner with other universities. We want to make this a national movement. We want to change lives."