We need a helicopter for days like this

Yesterday was just flat out fun. My day started with my weekly Skype mentoring session with all of the 3rd, 4th and 5th males at W. J. Scott Elementary School (Atlanta Public Schools)

Weekly Skype session with 3rd-5th grade male students at Bethune Elementary School (Atlanta Public Schools)

In March 2013, L.E.A.D. launched an Elementary School Character Development Series that includes blogs from me with a different character word each month. Our character word for April is excellence. We currently have four Atlanta Public Elementary Schools in the Character Development Series program. 

After my Skype session, my wife Kelli and our L.E.A.D. Executive Board Chairman Bill McLellan and I met with Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz at Turner Field. He is an amazing man who cares about all children in this state. His wisdom and experience is going to take me to new levels. Here is a quote that he shared with us yesterday. “Winners make commitments. Losers make excuses.”

From left to right: CJ Stewart (L.E.A.D. Co-Founder), John Schuerholz, and Kelli Stewart (L.E.A.D.  Co-Founder/Executive Director)
Afterwards, we drove less than 10 miles from Turner Field to Benjamin E. Mays High School to receive the 1st Annual Atlanta Public Schools Office of Athletics Community Service Award. Now that was cool! I am a product of Atlanta Public Schools so this meant a lot to me to be recognized. This was the Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics 5th Annual Calvin “Monk” Jones Lecture Series and 2013 Coca-Cola Scholar Athlete Awards featuring Ryan Stewart. APS is a great place for education and sports. 

Left to Right: Rendell Jackson (APS Athletics-Middle Schools), CJ Stewart (L.E.A.D. Co-Founder), Jeff Beggs (APS Athletic Director), Jasper Jewell (APS Athletics-High Schools), Sam Crenshaw (WXIA), Kelli Stewart (L.E.A.D. Executive Director)
I hot-footed to Maynard Jackson High School to spend some weekly mentoring time with our 5 L.E.A.D. Ambassadors that attend that particular school. We currently have 25 Ambassadors from various Atlanta Public High Schools. Pouring into them is worth the time. They have been chosen to lead. With consistent exposure to the history of past legends of Atlanta, interaction with current leaders of the city, maturation and life changing experiences, these Ambassadors will be key influencers in their school and Atlanta community. Make no mistake about it, this is all by design from L.E.A.D.

We capped off the night by collaborating with Georgia Tech Athletics to host 160+ LEADers from our L.E.A.D. Middle School Baseball Character Development League for our 4th Annual Hats Off event. The LEADers were empowered by guest speakers such as Wayne Hogan (GA Tech Associate Athletic Director), Shane Kimbrough (Atlanta native, The Lovett School graduate, West Point/GA Tech grad and NASA Astronaut), Roddy Jones (former standout GA Tech running back and outfielder). Click the short video below to hear from Astronaut Shane.

The LEADers from Brown Middle School got a special treat when they were able to tour the late Kim King football locker room with his daughter Angela King. L.E.A.D. loves Angela and the commitment to excellence of the Kim King Foundation serving youth in West End Atlanta. 

Angela King with one of the Brown Middle School LEADers
We walked from the GA Tech Athletic Center to the baseball field as a group and watched the GA Tech baseball team host the Savannah State University Tigers. Interestingly enough, Savannah State has three L.E.A.D. Ambassadors alums on their current roster Mendez Elder (Grady High School), Joseph McCrary (Redan High School) and Jason Wynn (Clarkston High School). Ambassadors McCrary and Wynn will be a part of L.E.A.D.’s first college graduation class in 2013. 

Hats Off to GA Tech, Wayne Hogan, Lauren Scherer (Director of Sales and Fan Experience, GA Tech), Jeff Gilbert (Director of Game Operations, GA Tech), Rendell Jackson (APS Office of Athletics-Middle School), Louise Plagman, Tony Plagman (former GA Tech student/athlete, Detroit Tigers), Shane Kimbrough, Roddy Jones, Angela King, Terrance Mays (Architect, Harris + Smith), Gavin McGinnis (Turner), Mary Jo Walker, Courtney Lapolla, David Seeney (Fresh Behavior), Cortney McArthur (Born To Compete), Barbara Greene, Kerwin Giles (L.E.A.D. Middle School Director), Crystal Giles, Bill McLellan, Kelli Stewart (L.E.A.D. Executive Director), Robert Stephens, James Walker III (Walker and Associates), Zion Walker, Mackenzi Stewart, Mackenna Stewart, D.J. Huyck, L.E.A.D. Coaches Sedrick Parker (Sylvan Hills), Sam Brooks (Sylvan Hills MS), Kevin Young (Martin Luther King MS), D’Wayne Carter (W. L. Parks MS), Harold House (Jean Childs Young MS), Malcolm Shell (Charles Harper-Samuel Archer MS), Harry Moss (Joseph Brown MS), and Brandon Johnson (John F. Kennedy MS).