Deslin Alexandre is gearing up for a second Senior Day, a homecoming of sorts, as Pitt travels to Miami Gardens for the season finale against Miami this weekend.
His family was in Pittsburgh for the official Senior Day against Duke last weekend, but he was raised in Pompano Beach, Fla. However, he spent the first years of his life in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. And it will always have a special place in his life.
So when Alexandre was able to use name, image and like deals to give back to the community, he decided he wanted to give back where it all began. He wanted to give back to the children of Cap-Haitien who needed it.
Alexandre launched his Fifth Down campaign earlier this year and is working with the Pittsburgh Kid’s Foundation to bring an extra Fifth Down to children in his native Haiti. Alexandre’s Foundation aims to raise $50,000 to cover basic needs such as meals and education for children in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.
Pitt’s 28-26 win over Duke was a great team effort, but it also coincided with a $22,500 donation from PGT Trucking to the Fifth Down Campaign. This brought the fundraiser to around $40,000, just short of the goal set by Alexandre during the off-season.
“I think it’s a blessing, man, to just come out with Thanksgiving, just be really grateful for everything that me and my brothers and my team have, and also just grateful that PGT is helping Trucking Fifth Down with our efforts.” , said Alexandre .
The Alexandre family moved to the United States when he himself was a young child, and he views the opportunity to give back now as his own “fifth down” opportunity. With the opportunity to give back to those in Haiti, where he still has family, he considers it a blessing to be able to give back where he can.
Alexandre hasn’t been to his native Haiti in a while, not since he was an elementary school student in Florida, but he plans to finally make it back once the season is over. In between his NFL draft preps, he plans to spend some time in Cap-Haitien.
And Alexandre’s efforts to give back to the younger generation with the Fifth Down Campaign have expanded into local efforts in the Pittsburgh area. He was at Sacred Heart Elementary and Dilworth Elementary this month to fundraise. And seeing the children raise money to help the children of Haiti made Alexandre feel truly blessed.
Alexandre has also spent time with the local Homewood youth football team and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House at Children’s Hospital along with Calijah Kancey and Brandon Hill serving lunch to families.
Alexandre’s charitable efforts have been both the continuation of Pitt Football’s NIL effort and inspiration for what it means to truly leverage the NIL effort going forward.
“It does, and you can go back to Cal Adomitis and really get back to some of the basics with the Coach’s Program. Giving back really is one of his pillars,” Partridge said Tuesday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “And relationships, making deals, winning, all those things are really the foundation of coach Narduzzi’s program. And Des is just the kind of person who took it and ran with it.
With just about $10,000 left to reach his overall goal, the finish line is in sight and the opportunity to play Miami in the season finale gives him another great opportunity to give back. And the only word to describe the feeling of even being close to your goal is gratitude.
“For everyone, even Marcus Minor’s mom has done a lot of work behind the scenes to help people get out so I’m grateful for that,” Alexandre said. “Thank you all for helping bring this story out, Ms. Celeste, for helping me get this together, everyone who was involved, who donated. If you hear this, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for letting me help people, thank you for helping people too, we all need it.”
Alexandre has 28 tackles (12 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two pass breaks this season after missing three games through injury.
With only Miami and one bowl game appearance to remain in his college career, Alexandre is determined to make an impact. But he’s also determined to reach the $50,000 goal for Fith Down.
Donations to Fifth Down can be made here: https://www.pittsburghkidsfoundation.org/5thdown