Thanks, mom: NFL star Haloti Ngata returns home to praise, raise money, and help all prep for ACT

Jun 28, 2018 | by Amy Donaldson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Keizzya Lee wasn’t sure there were words that could describe how she felt after taking the ACT test for the first time.

“I was at a loss for words,” she told several hundred people gathered in the Salt Palace ballroom for the Fourth Annual Ofa Ngata College Preparation Fund Luau Thursday night.

“After all, how does one describe the confidence-breaking, self-esteem destroying, self-worth crushing, torture that was my ACT experience.”

The East High graduate, then a junior, knew immediately that it had been a disaster.

“Getting the scores in the mail only made it worse,” she said. “I felt like I could hear the doors to college slamming shut.”

Lee shared her story with those at the luau so they could understand how something as simple as access to test preparation classes and materials can change the course of a life.

It is an effort started by Ofa Ngata when she realized that her son, Haloti, wasn’t alone in struggling to get scores on the college entrance exam that would allow him to gain admission to the universities offering him football scholarships.

“I failed the ACT two or three times,” the five-time pro-bowler and Highland High alum said in a video explaining the foundation’s work. “My mom realized there were other kids who didn’t have the money for preparation classes or materials.”

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