For the past few years the First Ward Community Fund been helping the Carolina Metro Reds with their winter workout program. The Reds are an RBI (reviving baseball in inner cities) affiliate. These workouts always include physical, mental and life skills training — we have been organizing the “talent” for the life skills sessions.
This year’s guests included Officers from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), a former Carolina Panther, a State Senator and a current bank executive who starred at Pitt and spent time in the NFL.The Life Skills sessions always emphasize the importance of education, teamwork, accountability and citizenship.
The session with CMPD covered how to interact with the police, understanding your rights and a lively conversation about current events. Tommy Barnhardt, a long time NFL punter and original Carolina Panther discussed his childhood, college trials and the many times he was cut before finally catching on and sticking in the NFL. NC Senator Joel Ford went through process of how an idea can become a law and how those laws then impact the citizens. Senator Ford too, had challenges growing up and in business but persevered. Derrick Kinder, a bank consultant, former standout at Pitt and a Chicago Bear re-emphasized the importance of education and hard work.
Success usually does not happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication and overcoming the many obstacles that spring up in life. An obstacle can be seen as failure or opportunity and those who see opportunity are successful in their endeavors.