You could see the awe and wonder on the faces of a group of 6th - 8th graders from the Seminole Boys & Girls Clubs in Huntsville, AL as they entered the stadium at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, on Sunday.
"Some of these kids haven't been but a few miles from home their whole life and experiences like this can change everything... because they had to work for it."
Harold Weatherly, who accompanied the group from Seminole, is a regional director at Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama, a 501c3 non-profit operating 15 club sites across the region. The BGCNAL provides nearly 1,400 youth per day with after school programs designed to grow young people into leaders by focusing on three core areas of impact:
1. Academic Success
2. Healthy Lifestyles
3. Character & Citizenship
To qualify for the trip, youth from the Seminole Club had to submit to application process administered Kerryon Johnson Impact Foundation which included essay writing, public speaking, and community service along with recommendations and good grades. The deserving group, pictured below, was selected to spend the weekend in Detroit, hang out with Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson and attend a professional football game.
The Kerryon Johnson IMPACT Foundation was created to help propel the North Alabama community to unlimited success as a catalyst and a resource for sustainable community growth and positive impact. The foundation's "Game Plan" is designed to focus on
I - Increase Literacy in Early Childhood
M - Mentor young Men and Women
P - Provide for Underserved Populations
A - Advocate for Student-Athletes
C - Create Opportunities for Community Growth
T - Teach the Community the Importance of Total Health While at Auburn, Johnson was voted Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017. The Detroit Lions traded up with the Patriots to select Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson with was the No. 43 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
We're thankful for Kerryon's example and look forward to watching him continue to win on the field and off.