Long before he was the two-time MVP of the FCS Championship and the second-overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft, Carson Wentz was born in Raleigh, N.C. before moving to Bismarck, N.D., where he grew up.
He attended Century High School where he was class valedictorian and a decorated three-sport athlete. Following graduation, Carson received a scholarship to continue his education and play football at North Dakota State University.
At NDSU his faith grew immensely. That process began during a fall practice his freshman year: a moment he remembers vividly to this day.
“My head was spinning. I had just learned a new language during install meetings, and Dante (Dante Perez—senior quarterback at the time) says, ‘Hey, ever read the Bible?’ I’m like, ‘We’re at football practice, not right now.’ Then we started talking, and ended up meeting. He kind of mentored me in my faith for about a year. Dante was huge, I owe him a lot.”
Like all of his passions, Carson quickly dug in and wanted to learn more. He became an active member of the team bible study, regular attendee of church and shared his testimony with many at North Dakota State University.
As a constant reminder of staying the course, Carson has “AO1” tattooed on the underside of his right wrist, which stands for “Audience of One.”
“It was a motto I picked up early in my career, and I finally put it on my body as a constant reminder to live with the Lord as my only audience. Whether I’m playing football or whatever I’m doing, I do it with the Lord as my audience.”
Following his first season in the NFL, Carson felt a calling and he knew he wanted to give back to the community. He knew he had been blessed with a platform that few ever experience.
The AO1 Foundation was launched in July of 2017 with the mission of “Uplifting individuals and communities around the world by demonstrating God’s love for His people.” Currently, the foundation uses three main ministries to accomplish this goal: Thy Kingdom Crumb, the Outdoor Ministry and the Haiti Sports Complex.