From foster care to NFL success, Bills running back Ray Davis inspires children on and off the field

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Recently signed Bills running back Ray Davis is fostering change in Buffalo. The football player spoke about his journey from foster care to NFL success.

Davis’ road to success has been anything but smooth.

“I grew up in the foster care system in San Francisco for eight years and had to become a man at 12. I think having to adapt to my situation and environment and understand that I had to raise myself,” Davis said during an interview shortly after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

His message resonated with the Buffalo community.

“Him saying ‘listen’ despite the naysayers, all the statistical information and resources that’s out there about the negative outcome of African American and Black youth, I still made it,” said Dr. Leah Angel Daniel, who’s the CEO of Fostering Greatness.

Daniel also grew up in foster care and made it her mission to give back. Her organization provides support and resources to ensure children aren’t left behind.

She says Davis sharing his story about overcoming adversity gives children hope.

“It gives them something to believe in that’s real and seeing is believing for a lot of young people in foster care,” she said.

Nicole Luko is the foster care adoption supervisor at Child and Family Services. She is excited to put a spotlight on the work local organizations do everyday for children in foster care.

“There are children who are extraordinary, but they need love and a safe place to grow up and become that successful person, so I think his story represents that very well,” she said.

Both organizations are looking forward to seeing what Davis will do on and off the field in Buffalo.

“A lot of people don’t know how long it can be for children or how extensive the process can be. I think it’s a good representative and I’m glad he’s joining our team and able to represent for Buffalo,” Luko said.

“I am very hopeful by Ray Davis coming to Buffalo and we were looking for someone to be a superstar for foster care,” Daniel said.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.

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