Suiting up in the Silver & Black is a dream come true for Bay Area native Taiwan Jones.
"You feel so fortunate to get drafted in your home town," Jones said.
And being a native of Oakland has made one of the Raiders' most recent community outreach projects that much more meaningful to Jones, who is a product of the Oakland Unified School System.
The running back attended Morris E. Cox Elementary in East Oakland, and had his eyes on the Raiders even as a kid. Now it has come full circle for Jones, as the Raiders have initiated a movement to give back to the school system, and the boys and girls who have big dreams just like he did as a child.
The Raiders launched a project this spring that allows individuals and businesses to assist Oakland public schools through their season ticket purchases.
"It's kind of ironic," Jones said, recognizing what this would have meant to him, and now knowing he has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of kids that are in a situation he remembers well.
"To be able to help give back and to see the Raiders help give back, I really appreciate that and I encourage others out there to do the same," Jones said.
Raiders fans can do just that. For all new season tickets purchased and paid for in full from May 1 to June 30, the team will donate 10 percent of the gross ticket purchase price to the Oakland Unified School District.
"We are thrilled to announce our newest youth and community based initiative and we are delighted to assist the Oakland Unified School District," said Raiders executive Amy Trask.
And for one young Oakland professional, it's hard to put in to words the magnitude of a program like this.
"It means a lot," Jones said. "I went to those schools, and those schools really need the support of others, so I really appreciate what the Raiders are doing for these schools."
And although Jones expressed to me the importance for the fans to get involved before the June 30 deadline, he made it clear that his efforts won't stop with this single event.
"Anything helps," Jones said, "going back and seeing the kids or giving them money for their programs... we really appreciate it... A lot of people watch TV and look up to the NFL so when the NFL (has) a chance to give back, I know kids really appreciate that."