NFL Media has announced a new three-part docuseries starring New Orleans Saints All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis and his Devoted Dreamers Academy. This after-school program will begin in Jan. 2023will assist New Orleans youngsters via athletics, academics, and mentorship. Davis was voted the Saints’ 2022 Man of the Year, making him the club’s nominee for this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
Beginning Sunday, Dec. 18, the series will air exclusively on NFL.com and Fast Channels (Pluto, Tubi, and Peacock), with the first two episodes running in December during Inspire Change Weeks 15 and 16. The third episode will premiere on Feb. 26, 2023.
“Every part of the work my wife, Tamela, and I have done since founding the Devoted Dreamers Foundation has been building towards our goal of starting the Devoted Dreamers Academy, a new program model that leverages sport as an educational opportunity,” said Davis. “When young people have access to education, mentorship, opportunity, and exposure, they are unstoppable. I hope that through the Devoted Dreamers Academy, we can help shift the paradigm of what’s possible for our students, contributing to a brighter future for the city of New Orleans.”
Education is a critical component of Inspire Change, the NFL’s social justice project that highlights the joint efforts of players, owners, and the League to bring about a good change in communities across the country and ensure equal opportunity is a reality for everyone.
Davis, a gifted athlete who excelled in school, had a terrible upbringing marred by drugs, alcohol, gangs, violence, and, eventually, prison. Davis discovered a new purpose via his faith in 2008 while a student-athlete at Arkansas State University, which pushed him to improve his life – and eventually to mentor and guide others in the same manner, he was supported. Following his rookie NFL season, Davis and his wife Tamela established the Devoted Dreamers Foundation in 2013 to fulfill their vision by providing the next generation of leaders with the skills they need to be spiritually, psychologically, and physically successful.
“NFL Media’s Entertainment & Initiatives team is honored and excited to share Demario’s impactful life story and his journey to opening Devoted Dreamers Academy,” said NFL Media Head of Content, Entertainment & Initiatives Shayna Hayes, also an executive producer in the series. “This is exactly the type of ‘helmets-off’ storytelling that brings to life the important work, so many of our players do in their communities in partnership with the League through our Inspire Change initiative.”
With a focus on education and mentorship, Davis’ long-term goal of inspiring change in the community included establishing a school. Devoted Dreamers Academy will begin in New Orleans to give scholarships. This limited series will follow the school’s opening process and three students as they try to be a part of the inaugural class. In January 2023, the Devoted Dreamers Academy will establish an after-school program.
“Demario’s commitment to education and mentorship in is an inspiration to all of us at the NFL,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility. “We’re thrilled to highlight the work he’s doing to in New Orleans and beyond through this docuseries.”
The series is executive produced by Demario Davis, Shayna Hayes, and Angela Ellis, with Tine Fields acting as producer.