Community Champions

Patrick Garwo III & the PGIII Youth Football Camp

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Ian Bin

Sign up for the PGIII Youth Football Camp

My name is Patrick Garwo III. I’m from Levittown, Pennsylvania, and I play running back here at the University of Nevada. I often talk about my life, but today, I want to discuss my ‘why.’

My drive is to provide for my family, so they don’t have to struggle for anything. They have given so much and made sacrifices for me, and I’ve always known I wanted to reciprocate their generosity. Additionally, I aim to be a positive role model for my brothers, showing them there are no limits to what they can achieve with focus and determination. This responsibility is something I hold dear. My brothers mean everything to me; they look up to me, and I’m aware of that.

Therefore, I must stay on the right path. Moreover, I must not take for granted the blessings God has given me. I understand he has bestowed these gifts upon me for a reason, and I intend to utilize them fully.

What inspired your transfer from Boston College to the University of Nevada, and how has the transition been?

The transfer process was relatively smooth. Coach Lynch, the current running back coach, had previously coached at Syracuse and recruited me out of high school. Boston College and Syracuse were rivals in college, so we already had a relationship and were familiar with each other from our time in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). From there, the conversation flowed easily once I entered the transfer portal.

He introduced me to Coach Joe, and I was immediately drawn to his leadership and faith. I’m excited to be here; the transition has been positive, and I’ve met great people.

Coming from Philadelphia, what aspects of your hometown do you bring onto the field, and how do they influence your play style?

Coming from Levittown and the Philadelphia area, you learn quickly that you must grind for what you want and remain focused. It’s crucial to have a strong ‘why,’ as your environment will shape this. My environment honed my focus, knowing well the distractions that could derail me. I’ve had to fight and grind for my goals with unwavering focus.

Can you share specific lessons or values from your Philadelphia upbringing that contribute to your success as a running back?

Toughness and competitiveness are critical values instilled in me from a young age. Growing up in a competitive and athletic environment taught me the importance of being resilient and competitive. As a running back, and in life, you need to be alert, reactive, and make the right decisions quickly. These skills from life translate directly into the field.

Your annual youth football training camp in Philadelphia is inspiring. What motivated you to start this initiative, and how has it impacted the youth?

The idea came to me after high school, seeing talented athletes unable to reach their potential for various reasons. At Boston College, I constantly thought of ways to provide resources we never had, aiming to offer a positive outlook and opportunities for achievement.

Each year, I strive to bring different resources to the camp. Last year, we partnered with Mindful Training to talk about the importance of training your mind on and off the field, and this year, we are partnering with them again, along with introducing financial literacy with the 3Nickles app. It’s exciting to offer these tools, addressing gaps in resources and knowledge in my community.

How do you balance your responsibilities as a student-athlete with running the youth football camp?

Time management was a lesson I learned the hard way during my freshman year. I know you hear about it’s essential up until college, but you only know how difficult it can be once you have to use that skill. Since then, I’ve diligently planned my day, ensuring I fulfill my responsibilities and pursue my passions. My day is structured around mandatory tasks, extra work, schoolwork, and personal projects, including camp planning. It’s a lot, but being passionate about my work makes it rewarding.

What essential skills or lessons do you aim to impart to the young athletes at your camp?

Competitiveness and understanding one’s ‘why’ are crucial. I want to show them what it takes to succeed, using examples from college and NFL athletes who’ve emerged from similar backgrounds. It’s essential for them to have role models and understand the level of competitiveness required, as well as the importance of having a solid reason behind their efforts.

Have there been any memorable moments or success stories from your youth football camp?

A standout moment for me was when I went back home and visited my trainer, John Karnofsky. All of a sudden, one kid from the training camp, who was previously hesitant about football due to bad experiences, told me the camp gave him confidence and drove him to join the sport. Seeing kids inspired and gaining confidence is incredibly rewarding and reaffirms the camp’s impact.

How do your experiences at Boston College and your community involvement in Philadelphia shape your future goals?

My journey has taught me gratitude and opened my eyes to opportunities beyond football through going to Boston College. My parents were also big on me learning about your sport and doing whatever I can to chase my dreams, but also, don’t let that define who you are.

I’ve come across a lot of great people, and I don’t take that for granted. And that’s something I love about my journey so far; it’s taken me to places I couldn’t have imagined.

What advice would you give to aspiring young athletes, especially those from underserved communities?

Stay focused on your goals, and don’t let negativity deter you. It’s okay to pursue paths that may not seem ‘cool’ to others. If you stay focused, you’ll look back at all those moments and be grateful for those who led you through them. Staying true to yourself and your dreams will lead to fulfillment and gratitude.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for your football career, and how do you plan to continue making a positive impact in your community, both during and after your time at the University of Nevada?

My primary aspiration for my football career is to make it to the NFL, a dream unchanged since I started playing in middle school. Beyond that, I have ambitions to start a foundation mentorship program. This program would provide resources and mentorship, helping kids from similar backgrounds as mine to unlock their full potential. By exposing them to various successful paths—whether in business, medicine, or the NFL—I hope to show them that success is multifaceted and achievable regardless of where one starts.

I’m not looking to be a savior, but rather someone who can offer help and guidance based on what I wish I had growing up. This approach isn’t just about giving back; it’s about building resilience, confidence, and pathways for those who follow.

Furthermore, my involvement in the community, both in Philadelphia and Nevada, serves as a practical foundation for my long-term goals. Through these engagements, I’m learning the challenges and opportunities in community development and youth mentorship. Each interaction, each story of struggle and triumph, enriches my understanding and fuels my commitment to making a difference.

As I navigate my journey, I’m mindful of the importance of mentors who have guided me to this point. Their wisdom, encouragement, and example have been invaluable. In turn, I seek to be that mentor for others, to offer guidance, support, and a positive example. Through direct mentorship or the broader reach of my planned foundation, I aim to be a source of hope and a catalyst for empowerment.

PGIII Youth Football Camp Information

The PGIII Youth Football Camp is a cornerstone of this mission. It’s more than just a camp; it’s a community event that provides technical skills, competitive experiences, and life lessons beyond football. We focus on mental strength and other critical life skills, aiming to create well-rounded individuals ready to tackle whatever comes their way.

Growing up, I saw firsthand the impact of mental resilience and financial knowledge—or the lack thereof—on one’s life trajectory. By adding 3Nickels into my camp, I aim to provide a more holistic development experience for these young adults.

My camp caters to 9 to 17-year-olds, a critical age range where interventions can significantly alter one’s future. By introducing these resources early, we’re not just preparing better athletes; we’re nurturing future leaders, thinkers, and doers. Each year, I plan to introduce a new resource, continuously enhancing the camp’s offerings and, by extension, the participants’ potential.

In essence, my goal is to ‘bulletproof’ these young individuals. No matter their aspirations, they’ll have the tools and mindset to compete effectively on the field and in life. This drives me, and it’s how I plan to leave a lasting impact during my time at the University of Nevada and beyond.

Recent Posts