Devon’s off the field endeavors are diverse. Devon’s acts of service dates back to 2010 where he first began volunteering to feed the homeless on holidays and visiting cancer patients at the children’s hospital in LA. His experience with the homeless in LA lead him to go to Haiti in 2012 with 12 of his USC teammates to build homes for families who were devastated by earthquakes. Fast forward to his NFL life and Devon found a home with New City Kids while he was playing for the New York Giants. New City Kids is an after school program where kids are tutored in school, coached through the college application process and also learn to play instruments such as the piano and drums. Devon became an active volunteer and donor at New City Kids and spent every off day during the season mentoring the kids. Devon’s relationship with New City Kids led the Giants organization to build a relationship with New City Kids as well which resulted in the Giants donating $20,000 to their after school program.
Working with New City Kids sparked a fire in Devon and made him realize that as an athlete he had a unique perspective that inner city kids needed to hear and acknowledge. This perspective is that reading and learning is COOL. Often times athletes are encouraging kids to play sports but Devon spends his time sharing with kids his other interest outside of football; the most important one being reading. This is why the #ReadingWithDK book club was created. #ReadingWithDK is a book club where Devon chooses books and offers a chance for all of his followers on social media to read along with him. He then poses questions about the book and everyone who answers the questions enter a chance to win select prizes. Devon’s philosophy behind the book club is to help make reading cool again and encourage people to really think about the impact books have on their life.
Moving forward, once leaving the New York Giants Devon signed new deal to play in Detroit for the Lions and wanted to hit the ground running in pursuit of finding a non profit organization he can get involved with and make a difference. Devon was then introduced to the Midnight Golf Program which is an after school program focused on mentorship and guidance for high school seniors. The Midnight Golf program is one in which every student has to apply to get in because the demand is so high. Once the students are in they learn invaluable skills that include but are not limited to: SAT and ACT test prep, how to apply for colleges, how to apply for colleges and how to deal with the time management once entering college. All of these skills are essential for these kids success and the mentorship that is provided sets the kids up to achieve their goals. After volunteering at the Midnight Golf Program for a year Devon chose to create the Devon Kennard Scholarship Fund specifically for the Midnight Golf Program students. To be eligible for the Devon Kennard Scholarship Fund the students had to write an essay about a book that they have read and the lessons they learned from the book and how they can apply those lessons to their own life. Devon ended up giving the award to two incredibly deserving students in 2019 and he has kept in touch with those students as they entered college. In addition to his work with the Midnight Golf Program, Devon was also apart of the team leadership counsel that was put together by Head Coach of the Detroit Lions, Matt Patricia. This leadership counsel was tasked with the assignment of working with the Lions community relations department to identify non profit organizations in the greater Detroit area that they were passionate about and wanted to help make a difference. With active participation from Devon the leadership counsel was able to select a handful of organizations that they chose to work with and then raised over 1 Million dollars in 2 years to donate to these organizations. To go along with the money raised it was important to Devon that he and his teammates actually volunteered their time to the same organizations they donated to so Devon spearheaded community activities with these organizations.
Due to Devon’s efforts in the Detroit community the Lions organization felt he deserved national recognition and nominated Devon as the Lions 2019 Walter Payton Man of The year Nominee. This award is the most distinguished award the NFL offers every year and Devon felt honored to be mentioned amongst some of the most impressive players on and off the field that the NFL has to offer.
The 2019 season turned out to be Devon’s last season in Detroit, satisfied with what he was able to accomplish on and off the field in his two years playing for the Detroit Lions Devon is looking forward to playing for the Arizona Cardinals which is his hometown. Devon has been away from Arizona for over a decade because of school and football so the opportunity to come back home at this point in his career is something he is looking forward to. Devon wants to hit the ground running and begin making an immediate impact in the Phoenix community both in his business endeavors and his philanthropic work.
Real Estate Investor
During his time at USC Devon realized that his NFL career wont last forever so before he even began his professional career in the NFL he already began to ask himself what’s next? Once Devon began to learn about real estate it quickly became the first thing outside of sports that he was excited about. Upon entering the NFL Devon began to read books and podcast on real estate in the offseason as well as network and go to local real estate meet ups. Then he finally got his first real opportunity to purchase a turn key property as his first real estate investment. Fast forward to today and Devon now has over $1.5 million in assets under management and operates as a limited partner in several real estate syndications across the country. During football season he focuses primarily on the turn key investments that he hires a property management team to manage for him but in the offseason he works closely with his financial advisors to find the best investment opportunities to grow his portfolio. Devon’s goal is to continue to grow his real estate portfolio while he is playing and network and connect with a variety of other investors. Once his NFL career is over he plans to shift his intentions to real estate primarily and provide a platform where he allows other athletes and likeminded individuals to invest along side him as he grows his business.