Preloading

The NFL Star Who Traded in His Football Helmet for a Job in the Tech Industry

Why do some people have the ability to bounce back from life’s most devastating experiences?

On a 2007 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, we heard the inspiring story of Isaiah Kacyvenski. As a little boy, Isaiah grew up in extreme poverty. His parents had a hard time making ends meet. At times, they were homeless. With five children, the family went long stretches without heat, hot water and, on occasion, even food.

To make matters worse, Isaiah’s father was an alcoholic who, thanks to his short fuse, frequently abused the kids. Isaiah credits his mother with keeping the family’s spirits alive. By age 9, Isaiah was determined to turn his life around. By his senior year, he was an honor student and captain of the football team. Tragically, however, on the day of their big playoff game, Isaiah learned that his mother had been struck and killed by a truck on the roadside.

Incredibly, Isaiah went on to pursue a medical degree at Harvard, where he graduated with honors, and to play in the NFL. After a series of injuries, Isaiah decided to trade in his football helmet for a job in the tech industry. To get there, he tells WhereAreTheyNow.Buzz, he had to go back to school for a business degree. Meanwhile, after retiring from football, he and his wife decided to split, which devastated their children.

Here, Isaiah opens up about everything that’s happened since he decided to head in a completely new direction.
Published 12/13/2016
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