Former Warrior Damien Packer still loves but football, but he loves the Big Island even more.
“I want to give back,” said Packer, who has been accepted into the Teach For America program.
Packer will participate in a training program next month in Oklahoma, then teach in a school there the rest of the summer. He will teach social studies at Kea‘au High School or Kea«au Middle School this coming academic year.
Through Chaminade University, Teach For America will pay for Packer’s pursuit of a master’s degree in education and a teacher’s certificate. Packer has committed to two years of teaching, although that work can be put on hold if he were to receive an opportunity to play professional football.
“Whatever God’s plan is, I’ll be ready for it,” Packer said.
Packer’s family also is preparing for the potential ash fallout on the Big Island. His family’s home in Puna is 10 minutes from the fissures in Pahoa. He noted the last time lava hit the water table “the whole Puna district got covered with ash and there were boulders the size of cars.”
He said neighbors are storing food and water.
“You’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” Packer said.