One critique of the public school system is its lack of real-life application.

While the Pythagorean theorem has its place somewhere in life, we’re sure the practical use of such a formula pales in comparison to the ability to create a budget, complete a resume, or launch a business. Critics have long argued that while traditional school curriculums are great, adding more classes centered around life skills would help propel students further.

NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland made this concept a reality by proposing a life skills course at the University of Pennsylvania. The college accepted the idea, and Life 101 was born.

Making His Mark

Copeland entered the NFL in 2013 undrafted but landed with the Baltimore Ravens his rookie season. Most recently, he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons and has played nine seasons across various teams. According to Spotrac, Copeland has made over $7 million in career earnings.


More Than Football

As a former student of the University of Pennsylvania, Copeland began teaching at the Ivy League institution in 2021. According to a conversation Copeland had with Boardroom, the defensive player says he approached the university with the idea of a life skills course, and the rest is history.

“Years ago, I took a crazy idea to the University of Pennsylvania and said, ‘Hey, why don’t we have this class where we teach kids about the money decisions they’re actually going to make in their lives,” Copeland said during the interview.

The official course is EDUC 245, “Urban Financial Literacy: Pedagogy and Practice.” However, Copeland simply refers to it as “Life 101.”

Diversified Resume

While the NFL star is currently in limbo regarding what team he will play for next, Copeland is busy with other ventures. Outside of being a professor in the offseason, he owns a consulting firm, Cascade Advisory Group.

According to his website, the advisory group is a “financial education advisory group committed to democratizing access to financial information by partnering with clients who share this vision.”

Real Estate And Reality TV

Copeland also has hands in the real estate business. The 31-year-old revealed that he is a real estate investor within the Mid-Atlantic Alliance real estate group and has several large projects in the pipeline.

If those ventures don’t keep him busy enough, Copeland co-hosts a podcast on Sirius XM Radio, Money Music Culture. He also appears in the new Netflix original series “Buy My House,” a “Shark Tank” style show where the investors make offers on homes.

Access For All

Although Copeland’s classes and ventures are typically targeted toward specific audiences, he has expanded his reach to the general public. Copeland has also taken his “Life 101” beyond the University of Pennsylvania so that everyone can gain access to financial tools.

Check it out here.