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Malachi Coleman is a Nebraska sports phenom with a difficult past – and a way to move forward. The young football player uses his prowess to uplift both his community and his family. 

Committed to playing football at Nebraska, Malachi Coleman also excels in other sports, including basketball and track. In fact, he’s a Nebraska state medalist in the triple jump. 

But Malachi’s storied sports history also comes with a difficult childhood. He and his sister, Neveah, were part of the Nebraska foster care system after his fathers’ death and his mother’s substance misuse.

Malachi Coleman’s foster parents adopted him. At just nine years old, he told his adoptive dad Craig his dream was to play football in the NFL.

At the time, it seemed like a faraway goal, especially for a young man who wasn’t very big. But Malachi Coleman has always dreamed big. 

He has not forgotten his past. In 2021, Nebraska law changed to allow players to license their likeness, and Malachi Coleman decided to make deals – and support other foster children in the process. 

Malachi Coleman gives back through NIL

He started with a burrito from Muchachos, a Nebraska Mexican BBQ fusion restaurant, called The Pipeline. All proceeds from purchases benefit children in foster care. 

And while he can’t reveal how much money has supported Nebraska children in foster care, the Muchachos organization calls it “a good chunk of change.” Every cent that comes provides extracurricular activities for kids in the foster care system.

According to his adoptive mother Miranda, “He’s seen how athletics changed his life. … He’s going to ensure (kids in the foster care system) have that opportunity he didn’t have, so money is not a stopper for a kid in a dark time.”

Malachi Coleman is turning his organization, Fly Like Chi, into a 501(c)3 nonprofit. To support Fly Like Chi, go to  

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...