Howard Community College Alum Chosen for Internships with Baltimore Ravens Football
Photo Credit: Jill Fannon.
One of the most special things Xavier Cunningham has ever witnessed was watching the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
“It was electrifying and exciting for the city of Baltimore and all Ravens fans around the world,” he said.
The Howard Community College (HCC) alum says he’s always had a special place in his heart for Ravens football. Last spring, he had a chance to meet Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, as well as the team chaplain, Johnny Shelton at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event he attended with one of his mentors. Xavier, who is majoring in communications studies with a minor in business administration at Towson University, jumped at the chance to engage with the organization.
“I talked to both of them about my interest in interning,” he said. “Mr. Shelton took my number and kept in contact with me.” Later, despite heavy competition, Xavier not only landed a summer internship with the Raven’s Training Camp, but was also brought on as an intern with the organization’s marketing and event staff for the 2019-2020 NFL season.
“I was so excited to be chosen,” Xavier said. “I called my parents and mentors and let them know that I was chosen, and they were all very excited for me.”
The Training Camp, which ran July 11 through August 21, 2019, kept Xavier on his toes, with responsibilities such as helping to set up the camp, specifically the Fan Zone portion.
“My job was to set up Gatorade Jr. Training Camp, which is a football drill for kids and teenagers who come out,” he said. “After setting up, we all change into our uniforms and perform our daily tasks. Then, we headed over to autographs and assisted in handing markers to the players so they could sign apparel and other items.” After autographs, Xavier would break down the set and say goodbye to fans and thank them for their support.
“It was a lot of work and long hours, but we worked together and had a great time,” he said.
The Training Camp may have wrapped up, but Xavier’s work with the Ravens is far from over. He’ll remain an intern for the Raven’s marketing and event staff through the upcoming season. In this position, Xavier helps set up the Ravens Walk with tables and tents for fans who walk through on their way to the stadium. He also assists vendors such as XFINITY, M&T Bank, and Constellation, with setup and breakdown as needed.
“Walking into the stadium on the sideline with everyone in their seats is a surreal experience,” he said. “Knowing that for years, you sat in some of those very same seats and now you are getting to experience what it’s like to be on the sideline with the players as an intern with all of your friends and family watching you.”
Once the game starts, Xavier heads to the stadium to help with halftime duties, including walking out with youth football and assisting with “Lucky Row” and “Pass 4 Cash.”
Xavier said he is having the time of his life, and learning at the same time.
“A skill I’ve learned is being timely and efficient,” he said.
Xavier, who graduated from HCC with an Associate of Arts degree in general studies with a business and technology emphasis, says he’s proud to have gotten his start at HCC and is thankful for everyone who has helped him along the way.
While at HCC, Xavier was a member of Howard P.R.I.D.E. and received the Howard P.R.I.D.E. Award from the Howard Community College Educational Foundation (HCCEF). He also played lacrosse for the college, and continues the sport in his spare time.
He plans to graduate from Towson University in December 2019 and pursue a career in sports broadcasting, public relations, community relations, communication, and/or marketing.
“This has been a journey and I’m very thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way,” he said. “I’m proud to be a Dragon!”Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.