The Baltimore area welcomed 2018 with below freezing temperatures that lasted nearly two weeks. The cold temperatures weren't just outside, as many kids in Baltimore City public schools were stuck in freezing classrooms.
Baltimore native, former Penn State football star and NFL player Aaron Maybin -- who teaches art at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School in Baltimore City --
posted a video
on Twitter of himself and some students in their cold classroom.
The video received nearly 2,000 retweets, and people began to take notice.
"It's ridiculous and shameful that other people aren't just as passionate about the exact same thing," Maybin told
Glenn Clark Radio
Jan. 25. "I'm a product of the Baltimore City Public Schools system, so it's not like I didn't have a lot of those same experiences myself."
Other photos and videos surfaced, and Baltimore City closed public schools for a number of days while temperatures remained low.
Maybin has been working with
to provide different
to various groups of students in the city. He's also used social media to help raise awareness for a
, which has raised more than $80,000.
Although the schools are operating now, Maybin said many schools lack basic necessitates, like drinkable water.
"As ridiculous as that may sound, you have whole classes that go thirsty for one, two, three hours at a time," Maybin said. "These are basic necessities that, to most people, it's like, 'How could one go without these things?' But our kids have been going without them for years.
"Every school that I've been at for the past five years or so, all of those schools are serviced by water jugs."
This is the first year Maybin has worked in city public schools in a full-time capacity, and he said updating the infrastructure has been put on the backburner.
"It's become a political talking point and a political ploy rather than something that's just a top priority because it has to do with the future of our future, which is our young people," Maybin said.
Even though he has had the opportunity to travel and live elsewhere after his four-year NFL career, Maybin said he will always call Baltimore home.
"I was never going to live anywhere else," Maybin said. "Nobody is surprised to know I'm doing what I'm doing right now if you know anything about me and what I've done in the community.
"… It's impossible for one person to fix an issue this big. It's a daunting task … but just because it's a daunting task doesn't mean it doesn't still need to get done."
To help Maybin and his cause, visit the
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more from Maybin, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Aaron Maybin on Twitter