With football playoffs in full swing, and basketball and soccer gearing up, one of our “travel teams” joined us and 250 other Southern CA youngsters on November 11 for the Strong Youth Strong Communities youth summit at LA Trade Tech. The event was co-sponsored by Health Net and the NFL Hall of Fame.

The day kicked off with an interactive session with NFL Hall of Famers Darrell Green, Aeneas Williams and Anthony Muñoz, who shared real-life experiences that led to their success on and off the field…BOSS…and the youngsters sharing their perspective on how to build stronger communities. After the plenary session with the Hall of Famers, students participated in breakout sessions with the Pro Football Hall of Famers to share and discuss challenges with school, at home, and with their peers that are important to them, and how to overcome these challenges.

Because of our relationship with Aeneas Williams and Darrell Green, our BOSS student athletes were treated to behind the scene opportunities and one-on-one coaching from the former NFL greats. Makaih “Kaih” Williams, an 8th grader at Hoover Middle School represented BOSS by volunteering to deliver the report of the breakout group in which he participated to the entire group of youngsters. When asked to “name one thing you learned today”, Kaih replied that “it takes three things to be successful: figure out what it is you want to be successful at, determine the cost or the price you must pay to achieve the goal, and commit to pay the price.” Kaih added a valuable footnote by stating that “you must also be intentional about achieving success”. BOSS.

All in all, it was an amazing real-world opportunity to learn and share. What makes BOSS different from the one-day summit, and unique, is the multiplier effect. There is also a “train the trainer” aspect with the end goal of combating the “boys of color are best at athletics” stereotyping in society.