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Game Plan for Life bringing inspirational speakers into local schools this week

Mark Wineka


SALISBURY — For the second year in a row, the Game Plan for Life program will be bringing noteworthy speakers into area schools.

From Monday through Thursday, the speakers have scheduled appearances at all of Rowan/Salisbury middle schools, two elementary schools and Catawba College.

The speakers include former National Football League player and current Fifth Third Bank Vice President Steve Israel, Hendrick Motorsports vehicle engineer Richie Parker, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, real estate developers and reality TV show hosts David and Jason Benham, NASCAR Vice President John Dodson, former NFL running back Clinton Portis, motivational speaker Mike Hall, former NFL player Renaldo Wynn, former WBTV reporter Sara Batista and musician and inspirational speaker Nigel Smith.

Game Plan For Life has partnered with the Rowan/Kannapolis ABC Board, Salisbury Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department to present these fall programs.

Game Plan for Life springs from former NFL Coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, who wrote a 2009 book by the same name. The school assemblies aim “to provide a bridge of hope for our youth and to inspire and motivate them to dream and believe in themselves,” a press release says.

“We believe we are able to do that by utilizing the platform of our speakers, who are seen as role models in our culture,” the release continues.

“Our speakers will use that platform to reach our youth by sharing their unique personal stories about what it means to have a game plan for life and how to handle and overcome adversity, such as bullying which is more prevalent in our middle schools than they are in high school; as well as early exposure to drugs and alcohol.”

Program organizers hope students will leave with a better perspective on life. They say they have received many testimonials from students who have been inspired because they could relate to one of the speakers.

Game Plan for Life purposely tries to provide a diverse panel of speakers.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to influence our youth in a positive way, even if that impact happens one student at a time,” Game Plan for Life says.

Here’s this week’s schedule of speakers:

• Monday, 8 a.m., Southeast Middle, Richie Parker and Nigel Smith.

• Monday, 10 a.m., China Grove Middle, Mike Hall and Richie Parker.

• Monday, 1 p.m., Corriher-Lipe Middle, Sara Batista and Mike Hall.

• Tuesday, 9 a.m., Erwin Middle, Sara Batista and John Dodson.

• Tuesday, 1:30 p.m., North Rowan Middle, Bubba Wallace and Steve Israel.

• Wednesday, 9 a.m., West Rowan Middle, Sara Batista and Bubba Wallace.

• Knox, 1 p.m., Jason and David Benham.

• Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Isenberg, John Dodson and Nigel Smith.

• Thursday, 10:30 a.m., John Dodson and Nigel Smith.

• Thursday, 2 p.m., Catawba College, Clinton Portis.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.


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