Photographed by Howie Sonnenschein

About Giovanni

Soft-spoken and kind, Giovanni – “Gio” for short – has dreams of one day playing in the NFL, and it’s not so lofty a goal for the recognized football phenom, who’s already generated interest from coaches and professional players. Still, Gio’s smart enough to know he needs to look beyond his time on the field: After a stint playing pro ball he hopes to run his own apparel company, for which he’d also serve as designer.

“I’m into clothes and I draw a lot,” he says.

When he’s not playing football or bringing style ideas to life, Gio’s hard at work at school, where he most enjoys reading and math, and teachers who make learning “interesting and fun.” He’s excited about going to college and thinks he’d like to attend the University of Miami.

“I like the football team and the campus, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the classes,” says Gio.

Education and perseverance are qualities he holds in high regard. It’s no surprise, then, that his role models are Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and his own older brother.

“My brother never gives up on trying to reach his dreams,” says Gio proudly. “He never stops trying.”

And though he’s faced obstacles in his own young life, Gio, too, hasn’t stopped going after what he’s looking for.

“I want a good family with caring parents,” he says. “I’d like to know what that feels like.”

Giovanni, ID: 10611579