Mac Jones isn't a fan of seafood, but made an exception Wednesday afternoon.
The New England Patriots quarterback swapped out his helmet for a chef's hat to make sushi with students at the League School of Greater Boston. Only, instead of rice, raw fish and seaweed, their dishes were constructed with Rice Crispies Treats, Fruit Roll-Ups and Swedish Fish.
"That was actually pretty good," Jones said, walking from that activity to the next. "Sushi isn't so bad when it's made out of candy."
The visit was to kick-off Autism Empowerment Month with his girlfriend, Sophie Scott, and the New England Patriots Foundation.
The League School was one of the first schools in the United States devoted exclusively to educating children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Jones and Scott got to take part in some of what the non-profit is doing to prepare these individuals for life when they turn 22.
"At every station there was some sort of life lesson, and that's what was so impressive to me," Jones said.
"Growing up as a kid, you just want to have that guidance, and I love that these kids have such great teachers, faculty, and staff. All the kids get along together so well, so that's really cool to see. I was definitely impressed and loved all those kids."
Making sushi was the first stop, a hands-on activity that also served as a lesson about Japan. From there, they mixed concrete to mold into stepping stones, played board games and football, and even made a purchase from the school store.
Starting at 14, students can start working various jobs at the student-run shop to practice vocational skills. About half of the students participate in this program, preparing them to take jobs in the real world with local businesses who partner with the school.
The academic calendar year is 216 days, with some students coming from all over the state to live on campus year-round. With each student having specific needs, the school offers comprehensive curriculum to help them all reach their fullest potential.
After being briefed by administrators on the game plan for the day, Jones and Scott fit right in with the counselors.
"Not everyone can walk into one of our classrooms and just sit down and interact with the kids like that, with no awkwardness at all," said Amy Faraone, the League School's coordinator of vocational and career services, watching Jones, Scott, and five students laugh around a board game.
"They're so amazing. These kids have to miss out on a lot, so days like this are really special."
It was just as memorable for the quarterback.
"I had a lot of fun," Jones said. "I definitely enjoyed every activity we did. The kids were great and everything was so organized and fun. Thanks to everybody here at the League School. It was just a great day."
Patriots QB Mac Jones, along with his girlfriend Sophie Scott, visited the League School of Greater Boston in Walpole on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 in recognition of National Autism Awareness month. Mac and Sophie participated in different activities with the students throughout the school, including a cooking class, creating stepping stones, playing board games, and a skill drill on the field. The League School has been a leading educator of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder for more than 50 years. The school serves students ages 3 to adult.