Samuel and Emmanuel Acho have reached a pinnacle of success that so many young men dream of—careers in the NFL. Yet, despite playing on a world stage, the brothers, who grew up in Dallas, have adopted the slogan – “Two brothers who never forgot where they came from,” as their personal mission.
For Sam Acho, who plays football for the Arizona Cardinals, and Manny Acho, who is joining the Philadelphia Eagles, that saying comes from the heart. The brothers remain grateful that they were given the chance to graduate from St. Mark's School of Texas, one of the nation's best private schools. They remember how they were recruited by the University of Texas, where they excelled in academics and football and were ultimately drafted into the NFL.
The two have received much and are committed to giving back, so for the last two summers they’ve hosted a camp at the Parish Episcopal School in Dallas to teach and inspire youth, ages 11 to 18, in football fundamentals and succeeding against tough challenges.
“We try to teach the boys that they can make it to the NFL even if they are in a private school,” Manny Acho said.
But the Achos have much more to teach than blocking and tackling. The brothers also remember that they have deep roots in Nigeria, a beautiful country where many rural regions have limited opportunities for healthcare. Their father, Dr. Sonny Acho, a doctor of psychology, began making trips back to his homeland more than 20 years ago to help those in need.
“My father would go to Nigeria, bringing bags of rice,” Manny Acho said. “But he wanted to do more.”
Dr. Acho organized medical missionary trips to southeastern Nigeria, where healthcare was non-existent. He and his wife, Christy, a nurse practitioner, built a make-shift clinic and annually recruited Dallas-area physicians to spend two weeks treating more than 2,500 Nigerians.
Together, the Achos created the Living Hope Ministries, a Christian, non-profit organization, to provide quality healthcare for Africans. The Acho brothers have adopted that mission, raising funds to build a hospital to provide care to more than 3,000 rural community residents.
The brothers devote the proceeds from their summer camps to building the hospital, and before they report to their teams, they will join the 24th annual medical missionary trip.
The football camp will be held on the Parish Episcopal Midway campus, starting June 15. Prices range from $75 to $250.
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