This I Believe

Jesse - Palmer, Alaska
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children, legacy

I believe in the power of one person, or athlete, being able to make a difference in their community through the power of being a roll model in sports. A single person can make the difference in their community by being a positive roll model for the kids, and even for some adults, in the community who look up to athletes whether it be at the high school, college, or professional levels.

A personal experience I have with this is back when I was in high school, I was asked to work at a kid’s basketball camp that was put on by my middle school basketball coach who is also one of my all time favorite teachers at any level. He called me up and asked me if over Christmas break, and then also over spring break if I would come to the middle school and help as a coach, along with several other high school basketball players from my school both men and women, to kids from the ages of 3rd grade through 6th grade. Of course I gladly accepted and this was easily one of the most enriching experiences of my young life at the time. I have always been good with kids of all ages, and this gave me the chance to put my greatest love at the time, basketball, to good use in helping this kid’s blossom into promising young basketball players as well as the roll models of the future and for future generations.

These kids always saw me playing basketball at the high school level, and where I come from that is the highest level of basketball played and parents and kids alike come to watch the games. Kids watched me and wanted to be like me so what better way for them to get to know me then by me helping them at a basketball camp. I have always been a very approachable person no matter the age, but especially to kids because I know I was just like they are once, looking up to the high school basketball players in the area, wanting to be like them and in the same place that they were in someday, and going to their games to watch them play and try and learn from them and model myself after them.

So high school athletes, go out and make some kids day. Talk to him about sports or anything at all, and help mold and shape them to be a great roll model for some other kids once they are your age. I’m proud of what I did when I was growing up as far as helping kids, and I hope that the kids I influenced will do the same to the next generation.