Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Power of Sports


I am currently working with a brilliant young man from a white working class Southern family who spent several years in the military before coming to Fordham. After we discussed of our very different upbringings, I gave him a copy of “White Boy: A Memoir” which he just finished reading. He had many questions for me after reading the book, but one question stood out the most “How did you keep from getting discouraged when so many things you worked for and believed in seemed stalled?”
I thought for a while before giving an answer and then replied “Sports. Sports got me through. Because of the athletic skills I had developed when I was growing up and honed in high school and college, I could head to the tennis court, basketball court, squash court or baseball/softball field when I was feeling down and have my abilities and character validated” 
I went on to tell him not only about the games and matches I played at Fordham during my first 30 years there, but all the friends I made doing that -among students, faculty, administrators, coaches, even members of the Jesuit community. Those friendships helped me advocate for my Department and my students, while keeping my morale up,
This vignette helps explain why I am so passionate about making sure every high school student in New York City has an opportunity to play on a team in their chosen sport. This not only strengthens their connection to school and enhances their chances of going to college, it gives them skills which will last a life time.
We need to see this opportunity is available in every high school in the Bronx, especially in the five high schools across the street on the Roosevelt Campus.
Currently, it is not.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

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