Cam Heyward

Suiting up for success: Steelers star Cam Heyward gives suits to dozens of high school seniors

Photo above by Taylor Ollason Photography.

It’s time for high school proms and graduation — that moment when seniors transition to the next chapter of their lives. At this key moment, Steeler Cam Heyward is helping local young men “Suit Up for Success” in a new program his foundation started. Cam was inspired by his own dad, also a star professional football player, to give suits to these 30 high school seniors.

“My dad had one suit growing up throughout high school and college,” Heyward said, “and his dream was always to provide a suit to others so he could look good and play good and just feel good about themselves. So that’s what we’re doing here today.”

Teenagers from 10 local schools each got a suit tailored by Surmesur Custom Menswear, plus shoes from Macy’s. Cam joined them for professional photos overlooking Pittsburgh, capped off with a dinner and presentation at Olive or Twist Restaurant downtown.

Heyward’s not exactly the guy they see on the football field. “I thought he was going to be a little bit meaner,” said Keon Smalls, a senior at University Prep Milliones,” but he was cool, cool, happy fun person.”

Each of the young men were chosen by guidance counselors for their character, perseverance and willingness to help others — not just the grades and athletics that typically get rewarded.

“It’s good to go to school and (excel) athletically, but it still matters your personality as a person,” said Nasir Crownie, who will soon graduate from Pittsburgh Obama Academy. “You still have to have a good personality at the end of the day.”

Along with new clothes and encouragement from Heyward, the students got advice from a college junior who was in their shoes not long ago: Nason Williams, now finishing his junior year at Duquesne University, told them, “There’s going to be challenges. It’s going to be difficult.  But honestly, just stay true to yourself.”

Heyward told the young men he’ll be following up on how they’re doing, and he wants them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

“I want them to know,” he said, “that, ‘Hey, someone believes in me, and so now, I believe in somebody else.’”

 This is the inaugural year for “Suit Up for Success.” Looking ahead, Cam plans to make it an annual event.

View this story on video at and learn more about Cam Heyward’s foundation right here. And check out this story about Heyward’s meeting with a local boy.