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Join Head Start family service workers, parents, teachers, directors, and partners as we convene in Western Maryland at the Wisp Resort to celebrate Head Start parents and learn and share strategies to lay and strengthen the foundation of families across the state.

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Shamiel Gary

Shamiel Gary is an inspirational NFL player committed to investing in the next generation through public speaking and community service. When he’s not playing on the field or speaking to auditoriums of students, Shamiel spends his time as an entrepreneur focused on real estate and writing a children’s book with his daughter, Kaidri.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Shamiel Gary is living his dream as a professional football player in the NFL. But the road to success wasn’t easy. Shamiel faced obstacles from every direction. It took hard work and perseverance to bring his 3rd grade dream to life.  

As a senior at Booker T Washington High School, Shamiel received his only football scholarship after the state championship to attend the University of Wyoming. During his freshman season, he won the 5A State Championship and earned Freshman All-American.

At the end of his sophomore season, Shamiel transferred to Oklahoma State University to be closer to his family as his grandmother battled Alzheimer’s disease. In a single season, he went from being an All-American Safety, to spending the 2011 season on the sidelines due to NCAA transfer rules.

In 2012, Shamiel hit the football field in full force. He started every game for the Cowboys, recording 72 tackles, 6 passes defended, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. As a senior, his pace continued and the Cowboys placed 2nd in the Big 12 Conference.
After graduation, Shamiel entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with the New England Patriots in 2014. After separating his shoulder during the 2015 NFL pre-season with the Miami Dolphins, he was released on an injury settlement and he found out his mother’s cancer returned. It was this release, this moment filled with uncertainty, that just so happened to be God’s perfect timing. If Shamiel had not injured his shoulder, he would have still been in Miami. Instead, he got to spend every day and night in the hospital with his mother until she was able to get a second surgery.
Soon after this, Shamiel returned to Miami, Florida. For the first time in his life, his mother was able to watch her son play in an NFL game. After the season ended, Shamiel found himself in the same situation as before. However this time it was at his mother’s bedside day and night in the hospice, where she spent her last days.
​Currently, Shamiel is a safety with the Buffalo Bills. He spends his off-season pouring into the next generation, reading books, and soaking up time at the bowling alley.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, May 10

11:45am EDT