Thursday, April 29, 2010

Strong Connection

Saturday was a great baseball practice despite the rain. Everyone showed up on time and the agenda was packed with lots of baseball development opportunities. A fun and enriching day of practice concluded and it was time for me to get home to hang out with the family.

A couple of my young Leaders needed a ride home. An hour later, after everyone had been picked up, we set out for their houses. When I asked them how to get to their house, they said, “go there and turn here.”

I thought for a second and the question came to my head before it leaves my mouth. But I had to ask.

"Do you know your right from left?"

“No coach.”

“Ok guys, your left side is the side of your heart.”

“Got it coach…Turn left on this street coach…Thank you for the ride Coach C.J.”

Being able to give directions and knowing left from right is just one example of the fact that without exposure, students can miss out on a lot of learning opportunities. With budget restraints, it is difficult for schools to expose students to new opportunities.

L.E.A.D. meets our Leaders where they are. We are in a position to ask about their dreams and connect our Leaders with possibilities through enrichment opportunities in the city. For the Leader that dreams of being an architect, L.E.A.D. connects him with the design team that built Turner Field. After visiting City Hall this year, L.E.A.D. Ambassador Julian Phiffer said, "I'm going to be the Mayor of Atlanta one day!" And L.E.A.D. extends learning from the classroom so that the city may benefit from our Leaders through service every 4th Saturday of every month throughout the year.

Schools can't do it all. L.E.A.D. exists to support. To connect. It is difficult to focus on right and wrong when you don't know your right from your left.


  1. Hey C.J., well said. You are on the money. It reminds me of the book Lonesome Dove that I read a long time ago where a young man thinks North is a physical place and not a direction. So his father has to help him understand the differences. Thanks for the thoughtful blog.

  2. Hey C.J. you are absolutely correct about enhancing our leaders to teach them adaptative life skills. We as teachers can not continue to educate all of our leaders by ourselves in the classrooms,without the assistance of the communities, partners in education, and parents. etc. It takes the village which consits of stakeholders, community partners, mentors and L.E.A.D staffing members. We salute you to continue the journey, we as coaches, teachers, and mentors of L.E.A.D. will continue to walk,jog, or run beside you to ensure that our leaders are equipped for life. Thanks for all you do for us.