PODCAST – ENGAGE, EDUCATE AND EMPOWER – My conversation with Kaleb Thornhill


“The more you go through, the more you learn”

Kaleb Thornhill enters his fifth season with the Dolphins as the organization’s director of player engagement. In his role, Kaleb engages, educates, and empowers individuals to reach their full potential both on and off the field. This includes helping players in the transition process in and out of the NFL through continuing education, financial education, and providing assistance in dealing with family matters.

Since joining the Dolphins, Kaleb has been selected to participate and completed the NFL Athlete Development Professional Certification Program conducted by the Wharton School Executive Education program at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2013, he has served as a member of the NFL’s Steering Committee for NFL Player Engagement, which provided advice and opinions in matters related to off-field support of players and their families.

Kaleb has fostered a holistic approach to the overall development of Dolphins players through Gratitude, Respect, Integrity, and Trust (G.R.I.T) and the creation of the Veteran Executive Education Program (VEEP), which aims to continue to develop the veterans and families in all areas of their lives.

Kaleb joined the Dolphins from the Detroit Lions where he worked in the team’s football operation and player development departments. Prior to his time in Detroit, Kaleb served as graduate assistant to the Athletics Director at Michigan State University while earning his master’s degree. During his time, he created player development/mentor presentations that were shown to the Athletics Director and Head Director of Student Athlete Support Services and helped to develop a transition program for student-athletes.

Serving as the Director, Kaleb was an instrumental part in bringing the 4th and 1 Football Camp to East Lansing, MI in 2011. 4th and 1 is a non-profit football, ACT prep, life skills, and character development camp that is 100% free to attend for student-athletes that show a strong desire to attend college.

4th and 1 East Lansing is transitioning to APEX Academy in 2015, a non-profit organization that Kaleb co-founded with his friend and former Spartan teammate Travis Key. APEX Academy’s purpose is to ENGAGE, EDUCATE, AND EMPOWER student-athletes from under-resourced backgrounds that lack the support and resources needed to properly prepare for and achieve their goals of attending and completing college. The mission of APEX Academy aims to provide under-resourced student-athletes with a wide range of tools necessary for college & career success, while closing the achievement gap.

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intro – Shining Star Earth, Wind, Fire

outro – Happy Rock BenSound


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