Former Loyola football and track star, and current Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr ’10 formally launched his foundation, Raise the Barr, this past summer. He kicked off this mission with a fundraising event in El Segundo on June 4.
The foundation provides financial assistance to single mothers attending college, while also providing support with childcare. In regards to his overall intentions with the organization, Barr said, “I want to help educate single mothers and their families in order to break the cycle of poverty.”
The inspiration for Barr came from his personal upbringing as the son of a single mother. As a college student, his mother, Lori, became pregnant and had to work two jobs in order to pay for her education. Witnessing the academic perseverance of his mother in reaching her postgraduate degree inspired Barr to create this organization.
Commenting on his upbringing with his mother, Barr said, “I inspired her, and she inspired me. My hope with the foundation is to provide the next person with the opportunity that I was fortunate to have.”
The goal for the organization in its first year is to provide ten families with scholarships. The Raise the Barr foundation gave its first scholarship to a mother of three children from Minneapolis, Minnesota, named Natasha Redeagle.
The funding for the organization comes from donations and fundraising events. Barr has already contributed $50,000 of his own money to his foundation.
Barr also shared how the values of Loyola played an essential role in his need to give back to his community. He said, “With its emphasis on being a person for others, Loyola subconsciously helped me to understand how to use my platform while keeping me grounded. It allowed me to see the big picture and to know that everything that goes on is not just about me and know that there are so many people that can use help. The school definitely pushed me to want to help the next person.”
In continuing its mission, the Raise the Barr foundation will host another fundraiser on Nov. 7 in Minneapolis.