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Letter: Powerful message shared

Game Plan for Life

I wanted to take this opportunity to share a positive highlight that recently affected many young people in our area.

I am a resident of Salisbury but I currently serve as the principal of Cabarrus Opportunity School in Concord,  the alternative school for grades 6-12 in Cabarrus County. During the last week in April, my students and staff were fortunate to hear a presentation from Game Plan for Life, as sponsored by Joe Gibbs Racing and the Rowan ABC Board.

I must say that our students were mesmerized by speakers Al Wood, Antonio Stevenson and Renaldo Wynn, all former athletes, who broached delicate subjects such as abandonment, poverty and violence with authenticity and care.

These stirring anecdotes moved many students to ask questions about how they could empower their own futures so that they could experience success and prosperity both personally and professionally. The arc of the discussion was raw and frank, especially when Mr. Wood and Mr. Stevenson poured into students the struggles of being fatherless and the emptiness that develops from this huge absence.

The richness of this dialogue impacted many students as well as staff members who commented that this year’s presentation was distinctly the best ever witnessed. Even in my many years in education, I was renewed in the importance of mentorship and community commitment in school and beyond.

Cabarrus Opportunity School is grateful for this program. It would not have been possible without Terry Osborne and Chris Sifford, who reached out to include us in this year’s rotation. I hope this program endures because for many youth, they can see now that there can be a fulfilling, bright future with good decision-making and hard work.

— Beverly Threatt-Belton

Salisbury

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