For former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback and convicted dogfighting bankroller Michael Vick, the path to youth work employment is proving easier than a return to the National Football League.
Vick, who recently was transferred from federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., to his Hampton, Va., home under house arrest, began working on Monday as a temporary youth aide for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. The club he's working with in Newport News is the same one he belonged to as a youngster.
Vick, who is completing the final weeks of a 23-month sentence, is also hoping to be cleared by the NFL commissioner for a return to the field and fulltime employment.
His assignment for now is to work with children at health and fitness programs within the Greater Hampton Roads Boys & Girls Club in Newport News, one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula's 15 branches serving more than 5,000 youth.
The job satisfies one of the terms of Vick's release from prison, which requires him to maintain employment, and fulfills what his lawyer said is a personal goal to be involved in some type of youth work.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula is not granting interviews or allowing media access to Vick's participation at the club, but the president issued a written statement that addressed Vick's past transgressions.
"We were disappointed by some of [Vick's] recent actions and decisions, but believe he has learned from these experiences, and is now conscious of his obligations and responsibilities as a prominent sports figure that impacts and influences our kids," wrote Steven S. Kast, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. "Because we think there is an opportunity for our children to learn lessons from his experiences, we have chosen to support Michael in his efforts to make amends."