Peninsula’s Antoine Bethea to receive presidential achievement award for work with youth

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Peninsula native Antoine Bethea will receive the Joe Biden Presidential Achievement Award for his ongoing work with local youth.

The 3-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLI Champion who starred at Denbigh High before a 14-year NFL career was nominated by Atlanta-based “Girls Who Brunch,” a nonprofit that works to “cultivate, inspire, and empower at-risk girls between the ages of 9-17 years old.”

Bethea will accept the award in February at the Dreams Unleashed to #EmpowerHer Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award Gala in Atlanta.

“I am deeply honored to receive the invitation to accept the Joe Biden Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from Girls Who Brunch. It is with great pride and humility that I accept this prestigious recognition,” Bethea said. “First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to each and every member of “Girls Who Brunch” for this incredible honor. As a father of three children, your organization’s commitment to empowering young women and fostering their growth is both awe-inspiring and admirable. I firmly believe that investing in the education and empowerment of our youth is vital for creating a brighter and more equitable future for all.”

Girls Who Brunch pointed to Bethea’s breadth of work in helping youth, highlighted by the creation of the “Bethea Family Foundation” that he and his wife Samantha Romantini Bethea founded in 2020.

Bethea’s given more than $500,000 to youth serving organizations, including a new basketball court in Newport News in 2020.

The former defensive back, who was drafted by the Colts in 2006, retired in 2019. He was a two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient in addition to his feats on the field. He was most recently listed among the finalists for the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

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