Rappler profile: Rico Nevotion

Jun 26, 2023

Rico Nevotion is an international recording artist who is Down for the Challenge because he knows firsthand what it’s like to be homeless.

He started living on the streets at age 16.  

“I had to find ways to survive each day,” recalled Rico, who sometimes stayed warm by sleeping inside random cars. “I was a street kid who felt like the world didn’t care about me.”

He remained on the streets for years to come. Every day was a fight. 

“I chose to suffer instead of reaching out for help,” Rico admitted. “I had too much pride to ask for help because I didn't want to be judged.”

Eventually, Rico found his way out of street life and made something of himself. Today, he is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry. His music has won more than a dozen major awards and he has toured with superstars such as Beyoncé and Celine Deon. His music videos have been featured on MTV, BET, VH1, and other major networks. He is also an actor, director, fashion designer, and author.

For all his successes, Rico has never forgotten about his humble beginnings. 

“Not everyone is fortunate to make it out of that dark hole like I did,” he said. “Now I want to be part of the solution, instead of the problem by judging and making assumptions about why (people experiencing homelessness) are in the predicament they’re in.”

Down for the Challenge is one of his favorite ways to give back. Now in his third year of rappelling, Rico loves the event because it brings people together to end homelessness. 

“I love the way so many people from all walks of life come together for one amazing cause, standing together and cheering each other on,” he said. “And you have people like me who have a fear of heights, but are willing to face those fears in order to raise money to help those in need. To me, that is priceless.”

He also enjoys Down for the Challenge because it gives him a way to partner with his favorite sports team. 

“I bleed purple,” Rico said. “The Vikings have been my only team since I was a kid. They will continue to be my No. 1 team until I take my last breath.”

Are you Down for the Challenge? You can support The Salvation Army’s efforts to fight homelessness by donating to or participating in our Down for the Challenge urban rappelling event with the Minnesota Vikings. This adrenaline-pumping event takes place July 28-29 at the Omni Viking Lakes Hotel during Vikings training camp.


Watch legendary Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter help The Salvation Army announce this year's 'Down for the Challenge' urban rappelling event in Eagan.


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