Growing up in Rowland, North Carolina, Vonta Leach witnessed firsthand the disadvantages of youth without support systems to push them towards success. It was his mother’s example of hard work and determination that gave Vonta the drive to reach his goals. At an early age, Vonta was taught the value of hard work and respect. Throughout his life, many people have molded and shaped him into the man he is today. As a teenager, growing up in a rural community, he aspired to transform the world through his talents.
Leach benefitted from the influence of strong role models in his life, which encouraged him to pursue his many talents. Vonta found success both on and off the football field at South Robeson High School. It was there that he exhibited his ability to take his athletic talent to the next level and caught the eyes of several scouts, before deciding to attend East Carolina University. He knew that his education and his athletic ability were keys to being able to reach his goals.
Vonta never forgot about the importance of giving back to the community, even while in college. In efforts to continue make a difference and to continue to serve as a role model to his community, Leach became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
In 2004, Vonta began his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers. In 2006, Vonta was signed by the Houston Texans and his NFL peers took note of this ‘sleeping giant.’ Simply put, Leach is the best lead blocker in the NFL. In 2010, he paved the way for Arian Foster’s 1,616 rushing yards. Leach was voted into the 2011 Pro Bowl, his first Pro Bowl selection, as well as the Associated Press’s NFL All-Pro Team. Leach was also announced as the 65th ranked player on the 2011 NFL Top 100. Leach graced the list again this year, when he ranked 45th, higher than Peyton Manning, on the 2012 NFL Top 100.
After a break-out season in 2011, Leach was a free agent and signed to the Baltimore Ravens to block for one of the NFL’s best rushers, Ray Rice. Since Leach has been in Baltimore, Rice rushed for 1,364 yards, while raising his yards-per-carry average from 4.0 to 4.7.
Recognized by his peers as one of the league’s fiercest hitters, Leach is anything but hard and bone-jarring off the field. He has one of the warmest hearts in the NFL. As one of the NFL’s best Pro Bowl Fullbacks, Vonta possesses an enviable combination of speed and strength that have earned him accolades both on and off the field.
Off the field, Leach was racking up accolades for his efforts in the community. In 2007, he founded the Vonta Leach Foundation to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of youth. A natural leader among his peers, Leach was motivated to do more to bridge the gap and to be a positive resource to assist youth in pursuing their personal endeavors.
Vonta is committed to creating opportunities and supporting programs that aid and empower youth with resources to set goals and to achieve them. Vonta believes that shaping and motivating young leaders today will help us maintain a positive and prosperous community. Vonta dedicates his off the field efforts to cultivating and motivating youth that aspire to broaden their experiences and knowledge.
Leach was one of 26 players named to the 2010 USA Football/NFL Players Association All-Fundamentals Team. Players are chosen based on “an ability to consistently execute the fundamentals of their positions and for making a positive impact in their communities.” He was also a recipient of the President Volunteer Service Award, from former President George W. Bush.
In that same year, while finishing college courses during the off-season, Leach graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Community Services.
Vonta serves as a motivational speaker for youth and shares the necessary tools needed to change their mentality to overcome their circumstances. His message focuses on personal responsibility and self-transformation. He is currently a member of or the United Way’s TEAM NFL—a core group of college-educated, civic-minded players from each of the 32 NFL teams charged with using their relationships and reach to get 560,000 more young people graduating from high school by 2018.
As an established leader in the community, Vonta has committed his life to serve as the catalyst to motivate and empower youth to become productive and responsible citizens by realizing their potential and worth.
Vonta currently resides in Baltimore, MD.