WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15, 2018 – Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles and Johnson Bademosi of the Houston Texans visited the Maya Angelou Learning Center to volunteer with students following the high school’s graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon. The two NFL players offered words of encouragement and advice to the rapt audience of about 75 students and staff, including four young men from the Maya Angelou Academy, a school for adjudicated youth in Laurel, Maryland.
“Education has given me the opportunity to see things and do things that I never could have dreamed of. But it all started with me taking care of my business, taking care of my grades,” said Bademosi, who is also a native of Washington D.C., a fact that he emphasized when talking about his own journey from student to professional athlete. “You can do whatever you want to do… This is coming from someone who is from here. I know what it’s like.”
Jenkins, an active leader of the controversial Player’s Coalition, also spoke about the importance of education and learning in general. “You don’t know what you don’t know. Always ask questions. Be thirsty to learn because your freedom, your ability to move in this life is based on how much you know.”
After a few pictures and autographs, Bademosi and Jenkins took part in several activities with Maya students including a salad and smoothie-making station. As they tossed salads and mixed up smoothies, the players talked about their diet and exercise regimens and the importance of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet with the students. Students also tried out new vegetables from the salad bar and cautiously sipped green smoothies from Bademosi’s own recipe book.
Jenkins also took part in the “Sip and Paint” station led by student Candida, a sophomore at Maya Angelou Public Charter School. He helped paint signs for the Young Adult Learning Center in a variety of styles and colors.
Students also primed shipping containers in preparation for a student mural. The afternoon ended with an outdoor barbeque on the tennis courts of the campus.
About Maya Angelou Schools/See Forever Foundation
Our mission is to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those who have not succeeded in traditional schools, can reach their potential and prepare for college, career, and a lifetime of success. At Maya Angelou our students develop the academic, social, and employment skills they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change. MAPCS high school, Young Adult Learning Center and Academy at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center provide a comprehensive education in a non-traditional setting to all students including those who have not been successful in their educational experiences. We achieve this through a demanding academic program, socio-emotional learning support, and tiered interventions that focus on the whole child. Our students will leave us with a foundation to be successful in their pursuit of education and careers.