Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NFL Star hosts Back-to-School Event with YES and Soles4Souls

Jevon Kearse, the star defensive end for the Tennessee Titans, received a thunderous ovation from fans at his first game back since 2003. The “welcome-back” Jevon tour continued when he hosted a back-to-school event at Youth Encouragement Services (YES) for over 100 needy children of the metroNashville area.

Kearse partnered with YES, Soles4Souls and the local community for a special day with children, many of whom reside in the nearby J.C. Napier and Tony Sudekum public housing complexes. In addition to giving away school supplies, sandals and backpacks, Kearse also organized a pizza party and free back-to-school haircuts from local barbers.

Greeting the children with smiles and hugs, Kearse also took pictures and signed autographs for every child in attendance.
Kearse said while he was growing up, he didn’t have any professional athletes come back and speak to him. He believes that by kids being able to meet him and see a real life Titan, they too will know anything is possible.

"We didn't have anybody come back to show their face, somebody's who's been where I've been to give them some enlightenment that there are going to be better days, and that it's okay to dream," said Kearse.

YES, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children in inner-city Nashville, operates three centers that offer educational and recreational programs as alternatives for kids during after school hours, weekends and summer break. The programs offered by YES effectively keep children living in the inner-city off the street, giving them a safe place to go where they can engage in social, educational and cultural activities.

“By Jevon holding this event and donating his time and resources to these children is really a blessing,” said Daryl Elliott, center director of the Lindsley YES location. “Just to have the opportunity to have school supplies provided for each one of these families helps them to be able to spend their funds on other necessities as they prepare for this upcoming school year.”

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