Check out the video above to see Jeff and Turan presenting at the University of Charleston on trauma-informed, justic-oriented, sports-based leadership development that subverts the school-to-prison pipleine.
“I coached 'church 'ball' this year while I was also playing basketball for Job Corps. It felt like the bonds got stronger just having [the young men] around, and I see those guys, they wanna be just like us, it just makes me proud, showing that we are trying to do the right thing, and trying to show them that they can do the right thing, too.
"Midian connected me with Simmons College where I'm going in the fall, looking forward to having the opportunity to go to college at all, and to go to a different state and keep figuring out the great things I can do in life. Just the opportunities--you never know where you can end up. At an HBCU, I'll learn a lot about my culture. I plan to study business entrepreneurship, because that's what I want to do in life.
"We are going to turn this opportunity into a great thing. An opportunity like this, you can't pass it up. I will be the first person in my family to enter college, and I will get my degree! This is just the beginning, but there are even better things to come in the end."
-Jabbar, Captital High School '18, Charleston Job Corps '19, Simmons College ‘23
"Playing high school football built a lot of character and leadership in me. It taught me that I didn't get my talents from myself, I got them from God. Playing at West Virginia Wesleyan took me out of my comfort zone, where I didn't know everyone. My first day of class, people were kind of shy and standoffish, and I thought to myself, "Do I really even need to talk to anyone? I could just be quiet too. But then I thought:
"'Nah, people need friends!' And so I went outside by comfort zone and started being a friend.
I had been going to camp since I was in seventh grade, and it helped me work through hard times when I was younger. I had always wanted to help the younger generation when I got older, and being a counselor at camp, talking to the kids and helping them work through things, it didn't just help them--it helped me get closer to God.
Uriah, Capital High School, '18, West Viginia Wesleyan College, '22