Each week O Heroes sits down with one of our student-athletes to get to know more about them on and off of the field.
This week we feature Kenjon Barner, a 5-11 senior running back on the Oregon football team, who excels on the football field, in the classroom and within the community.
The youngest of five, Barner was born in Lynwood, Calif., but later relocated with his family to Moreno Valley, Calif. Growing up he enjoyed playing basketball, wakeboarding, skating and hanging out with his friends. In 2008, he came to the University of Oregon for his first season with the Ducks.
Now a standout UO football player and committed student, Barner dedicates the time outside of his full course load of academics and football, to community outreach events.
Recently, he has dedicated his time reading with youth at elementary schools, participating in the Boys and Girls Club “O”lympic Games, and performing in this year’s Showtime student-athlete talent show.
Barner knows that being a UO student-athlete gives him the ability to positively impact kids who look up to him but, according to him, the impact is reciprocal.
“The kids teach me just as much as I teach them,” said Barner. “The intelligence, dedication and spirit each kid has inspires me more than I could have ever expected.”
After graduation he aspires to enter the NFL, pursue a career in sports broadcasting or join the FBI. To continue his philanthropic work, Barner says he will continue working within his community and hopes stay involved in programs that benefit children.