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Ex-Pacific High star to present school with Super Bowl gold football
Golden Football
Former New York Giants defensive back and San Bernardino native Mark Collins will return to Pacific High School on Friday to celebrate the Super Bowl’s 50th anniversary by presenting his alma mater with a gold football.

Collins, who graduated from Pacific High in 1982, is returning as part of a special NFL celebration honoring every high school in the world that has produced a player or coach who appeared in a Super Bowl. Collins was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft and played for the Giants from 1986 to 1993, according to a school district news release.

The NFL estimates that over 3,000 players have played in the Super Bowl, along with 52 coaches. The league invited some of those 3,000 players to personally deliver the gold football to their individual high schools.

Collins’ homecoming will take place at noon on Friday during a special student assembly in the Pacific High Auditorium. It’s been 33 years since Collins graduated from Pacific High, a school he continues to support by participating in the development of the district’s Athletic Strategic Plan. The plan aims to increase student participation in sports by providing state-of-the-art facilities and academic support to athletes.

For Principal Hector Vazquez, Collins’ return to Pacific is an opportunity to remind all students, not just athletes, that setting goals and believing in themselves will take them far in life.

“Mark Collins is an amazing role model for our students,” Vasquez said. “He’s proof that great things are possible when you set goals, work hard, and persevere.”
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the Earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another,” writer Erma Bombeck once said, and this statement describes how students help change the lives of families on a special national holiday.

On Jan. 20, Pacific High School students in San Bernardino volunteered to help at Jones Elementary on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the Chinese New Year.

Many families came to celebrate the holiday and the new year with the students. There were even some tears, as volunteers were thanked for helping in the celebrations. 

Tzu Chi foundation began on the island of Taiwan and helps to provide free food, and on some occasions, offers clothes and medical clinics throughout communities. 

Several students were asked to share their experience as they volunteered and supported the vision of King that, in his remembrance, it is a day on, not a day off.

Genesis Lopez said, “My personal experience has been amazing … It makes me very happy to be able to see people that are in great need of service, something so simple as food, and be very thankful. Every single time It makes me humble down and be thankful for what I have. It is a blessing being able to help the people in our community including people that attend Pacific High School.”

For Pacific High student Abby Rincon, it’s been “wonderful.” “The experience you gain from helping our own community can give you a great feeling. When I arrived at the events to when I left, it made me happy that I was involved with helping my community support families in need.”

She continued, talking about what her friend said, “‘I am also very thankful for what I have that others do not.’ I thank everyone and wish everyone great wishes in this community.”

“The Aloha Spirit is about putting others before yourself and giving back,” according to Valeria Cervantes. “Our Aloha shirts represent that and act as a reminder to think of how to serve first. These shirts are not given, but are earned through hard work and commitment to helping our community. As the number of students wearing Aloha shirts grows, it gives a heartwarming feeling to see that our students, indeed, do want to make a change and foster hope.”

Congratulations to our Pacific High School volunteers!

Margaret Hill is a member of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board.

1020 Pacific St., San Bernardino, CA 92404 | Phone: (909) 388-6419 | Fax: (909) 388-6427

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