Not long after that, Desir reached out to Spartans athletic director Scott Harris and school officials about doing something to give back to the school that gave him a chance to have an amazing life beyond the walls of Francis Howell Central.
The Haitian born Desir came to the states with his family at age 4. In high school, he starred as a football standout at Howell Central, a legacy he continued at Lindenwood University. His formative years at Central meant a lot to him, so when he hit the big time, he knew he wanted to reach back for the sake of other student-athletes.
“About a week after he signed his free-agent deal with the Colts, he reached out to us, and he really wanted to give back to the school and the community that had done so much for him, and supported him and had such a big impact being where he is today,” Harris said.
Desir also enlisted the input and help of former Lindenwood teammate, Howell Central strength coach Malach Radigan to help him formulate the best way to give back.
“We [all] got together and talked about his vision and how it meshed with us, and we kind of went from there,” Harris said.
That vision turned into helping the school build a new state of the art fitness center complete with barbells, dumbells, new benches and new exercise machines.
“I learned so much through my years in high school,” Desir said. “I wanted to show my appreciation for what they [the coaches at Howell Central] have done for me throughout my career and when I was in school.”
Desir is donating $185,000 toward the project, which will be started this month and is expected to be done in late September or early October.
“My hope for the fitness room is to allow kids to come into an environment they’re proud of,” Desir said. “More kids will be able to come in and be active with all of the equipment.”Howell Central junior girls basketball player Sophie Delaney said Desir giving back to the school is not just special for him but also for the student body at large.
“It’s cool how we have a person from our high school who is represented in the NFL who is still coming back, getting to know us and getting to inspire us, even though we are just high school kids,” Delaney said.
Harris said that Desir’s generosity is something that brings deep pride and appreciation of him to the Howell Central community.
“He really did not travel a conventional path [to the NFL], and we kind of celebrate that with our kids,” Harris said. “We’re all just so proud of him because it’s like one of us is in the NFL and now there’s a lot of Colts fans here at Howell Central and his success is such a pride for our school community.”
The new fitness room is expected to be dedicated on or near Oct. 10 during the Colts bye week. Additionally, the school will dedicating a wall to Desir on the night of the Oct. 10.
“Our plan is when Pierre comes home on his bye week in early October we will have an official ribbon-cutting with his family and let him see the finished product first-hand,” Harris said.