National Football League (NFL) player Emmanuel Ellerbee is looking out for student-athletes with his new nonprofit.

The Atlanta Falcons linebacker launched his nonprofit, Bee’s Believers, to bridge the gap between student-athletes and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), ABC 13 reports.


Creating STEM Opportunities

During his time as a student-athlete in his hometown of Houston, TX, Ellerbee received guidance to decide a path to pursue along with his football career, which led him to earn a degree in civil engineering from Rice University.

“When I was coming out of school and during the recruitment process, a lot of people told me ‘Oh you’re going to have to choose one or the other,'” Ellerbee told the outlet. “‘You’re either going to have to be a great engineering student or a be a great athlete.’ I was like ‘Why can’t I do both?'”

Now, he’s paying it forward for today’s student-athletes to follow in his footsteps.

“Our mission is to provide students with opportunities through athletics and STE(A)M, so that they may have the chance to discover new passions, on and off the field,” the Houston-based nonprofit says on its website. “No child should be limited in what they seek to achieve in this lifetime, and we have made it our mission to help elevate them.”

Black & Brown Student-Athletes In STEM

Ellerbee’s nonprofit serves as a call to action to help combat the low percentage of Black and brown people in STEM.

“For us, it was all about going for inner city schools, and just giving them the opportunity to be able to have that exposure that they typically wouldn’t get,” he said.

According to the outlet, Bee’s Believers will be hosting a seminar for ninth graders in March 2022. The upcoming seminar will connect student-athletes from other Houston-area high schools and provide them the opportunity to speak with former and current professional athletes who now have careers in the STEM field.