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Motivational speakers inspire audience, share faith (VIDEO)

The FC student body and Christian Business Men’s Connection Fresno (CBMC) gathered in the FC gym for a Bill Glass, Champions for Today (CFT) presentation, Oct. 2. This event’s hosts consists of influential people around the community followed with the main speakers that are National Football League (NFL) football players.

FC partnered with Campions for Today to allow them to come share their testimonies with students for the past three years. According to CFT, their main purpose is to “educate and equip them [students] to make wise, life-giving choices through messages delivered by dynamic speakers.” This years speakers were New York Giant’s Keith Davis, Florida State’s Clarence Lee, and New Orleans Saints’ Ekom Udofia.

Starting off the event, Davis began speaking about conflicts or distractions in any students’ lives that may not always be positive. According to Davis, despite your past decisions, your future is what you make of it.

“The Lord is not booing you,” Davis said. “Man will boo you, but angels will cheer from heaven for one teenager who makes the right decision. No matter what’s happened in your first half [of your life], God tells you that you can have a great second half. You can’t change your past, but you can change your future.”

Senior Zach Jakusz volunteered to be the “big dream,” along with others, in one of Davis’ demonstrations. The activity was to stand on Lee’s back while he was doing a push up.

“I think it was really inspirational to people that play football or other sports,” Jakusz said. “I thought it was pretty cool when they said to never give up. My favorite part of the event was when I was standing on the guys back as he did a push up. I thought it was kind of awkward at first, but overall I liked it.”

Weighing 265 pounds and bench pressing 515 pounds, Davis wanted to begin by expressing that neither himself, Lee, or Udofia have received any of their achievements because of drugs. Davis gives credit to working hard and not taking “shortcuts.”

“We need to clear up something right off,” Davis said. “We have never, in our lives, tried steroids. We don’t take shortcuts. Success is when you work really hard to make your life better, but significance is when you work really, really, really hard to make someone else’s life better.”

Lee talked about how even simple words can have a powerful meaning behind it. During his speech, he discussed that being a well known star does not compare to being a person who leaves an impactful legacy.

“When you’re so used to hearing scripture, you ignore it,” Lee said. “Tradition can take away from the promise land. Sometimes we hear God and we just don’t trust it. I decided to belong to God. Words can have life and they can have death. I’m practicing to be a world class father; a world class husband. And that lasts a lot longer than a football game. I’m talking about a legacy.”

For freshman Sydney Belmont, this was the first time that she was able to experience this particular event. Afterwards, Belmont appreciated the effect that Lee’s lecture had on the audience.

“I thought the event was really inspiring; I liked it,” Belmont said. “I thought it was cool when Lee was talking about how he would teach his own kids to serve and learn to live a better life when they were young.”

Defensive line man Udofia, shared his testimony to the audience about his faith and walk with the Lord. In his opinion, he hopes that his words create motivation for the people in the audience.

“Something was tugging at my heart to develop a better relationship with God,” Udofia siad. “So when I was just twelve years old I got on my knees and prayed to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to encourage you, no matter where you are, to look up to God. He is bigger than you and can help with all your needs.”

Eighth grader Jared Coppola was picked to come onstage and wear the original Rose Bowl jersey and three of their football championship rings. Despite being able to wear the jersey, he had to return it back to them.

“It was awesome being able to wear their rings,” Coppola said. “Afterwards, I got to meet the guys and they also gave me an autographed card which was really cool. They let me wear an original Rose Bowl jersey and wear their rings. The rings were heavy; I don’t think I’ve ever held something worth that much money, which was crazy.”

Principle Tod Bennett looks forward to that specific day because he really enjoys the message that is shared each year by the inspirational football speakers. In spite of this being the third year that Champions for Today have come to FC, they provided a new perspective of the topic that they presented.

“I love this day each year,” Bennett said. “I think it’s a great message the guys bring, and I really appreciate that Davis remembered that he had been here before, so he did something different this year. Usually the program is very similar, but this year it was more faith based and spoke to the kids in a way that I thought was very meaningful. I really appreciated it.”

This author can be reached via Twitter: @kaitie_king5. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Oct. 2 article,
Eighth graders display growth through annual trip

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