LINCOLN, Nebraska. (WLNS) – When Lincoln East High School football phenom Malachi Coleman announced he’d be playing for Nebraska next season, it was the completion of the ultimate Hail Mary.
Twelve years earlier, Malachi’s mother left him and his younger sister by the side of the road and never returned. Malachi suffered abuse in the foster system. Eventually, he and his sister were adopted by a loving family. But so much damage had been done.
He was a mean and selfish jerk by his own admission, who refused to do anything kind for anybody.
“Yea, because nobody had really helped me up to that point, you know,” said Coleman.
So when the Nebraska School Activities Association ruled that high school athletes could now profit off their name and likeness, it came as no surprise that Malachi was first in line. The shocker was how he planned to spend it.
They say Malachai walked into this local restaurant and offered to promote a burrito on the condition a portion of the profits go to one cause.
“Put it toward advocating for the foster care system,” said Nick Maestas.
Maestas is the owner of the restaurant.
Malachi’s transformation began a few years earlier after an hour-long argument in which his foster mother Miranda insisted he does something selfless.
“Yeah, I threw out at least a hundred ideas of things he could do. And exasperated I finally said ‘What about holding a door? Can you hold one door for one person?’ And finally, he was like ‘I can hold a door,'” said Miranda.
The next day at school he held a door for someone. Then another, and another, at church he held the door for the entire congregation. Now, he says kindness is his passion.
“Once I realized how good it makes me feel to help other people, it’s just something that I knew I wanted to continue in my life,” said Malachai.