Our time with the students during the summer is rewarding – to see how we are making a difference in the everyday lives of the children we serve.
The 2017 Playmakers Folsom Character & Leadership Summer Academy. Thank you Rotary Club of Folsom, we built some amazing relationships this summer with the kids. We couldn’t have done it without your help, Thank You!
On our final day, The Playmaker student-athletes enjoyed a delicious lunch of Chicago Fire Pizza, who we give many thanks for donating funds and pizza this summer for a great group of kids. Looking forward to next summer! #characterfirst #payitforward #TeamMeansFamily #chificommunity
This article was published last month in Daily Word, A Faith-based website of resources and Daily Inspiration by Unity. Coach Roz speaks about his coaching experiences and his passion for helping lost kids.
When I started coaching high school football in one of Sacramento’s roughest areas, I didn’t know some of these kids had no place to live or that they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. Many had never known their father. They all wanted to play football, even though their school hadn’t won a game in three years. It was a big assignment, but I wanted them to have a male role model in their life who truly cared about them. The football team became “family” for them and they found a sense of belonging and safety.
Many of the boys were failing academically, so I started an early-morning tutoring program. Initially, we were just helping them catch up on their homework. It didn’t take long to find out that they were failing because they couldn’t read. We switched our focus to reading and getting them caught up in the foundational pieces necessary for them to pass their subjects.
We wanted to provide ongoing support and encouragement for kids who had been given such a tough start in life, so Playmakers Mentoring Foundation was born. Through Playmakers, we promote character and leadership to disadvantaged and at-risk kids using football as the conduit. For many of these kids, our program became a lifeline.
You have to be willing to meet the kids where they are. That means going to difficult neighborhoods and broken homes and being comfortable developing relationships with the kids and their families, just as Jesus would. We try to model Jesus by how we carry ourselves, how we live our lives, and how we interact with kids. That’s what being a Playmaker is all about.
Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler is the founder and executive director of the Sacramento-based Playmakers Mentoring Foundation. For more information, visit theplaymakers.org.
I met Anthony 3 years ago as he applied for our summer part time position working with our Playmaker kids. Anthony was a center on the Sac State football team and an honor student. Anthony pioneered our summer reading program working with kids and the Optimists at Howe Avenue School in 100 degree weather.
Over the three years he has been with us, Anthony’s responsibilities increased to Director of Coaches and he has recruited our outstanding coaching staff of today. He has been instrumental in the development and writing of our curriculum and much more. Anthony has spoken to numerous civic groups and sat in on many meetings regarding the well being of our kids and program.
Anthony is now leaving to accept a career position with Elk Grove Parks and Recreation and will do an outstanding job. He will bring much to that organization and to many kids. He leaves his position with us in good hands with Alec Romero. Alec is with us for his third year and is taking on the responsibility of marketing and some grant research and more. Alec is on a fast track to graduation and working with Playmakers full time.
Anthony will be missed, he now becomes part of our community on a permanent basis. He makes our community better and we can’t wait to see all the great thing he will do. Anthony does not leave us as you are “always a Playmaker.” It has been fun watching you grow and mature into a great man of character.
On Saturday, April 29, we celebrated the hard work of our trained coaches. For our sponsors who have not had a chance to visit our program, it was an opportunity to meet these hard-working college students.
They show up and lead by example. They teach our Playmakers in training what it means to love, live a life of purpose, and to have the self confidence to achieve their goals. These adults of upstanding character are paying it forward, and they are the heart of The Playmakers Character and Leadership Academy.
What differentiates the Playmakers after school program is the integration of reading and character modules into our sports and recreation program. Our vision is to be the standard in after-school programs. Our instructors (“coaches”) are high-school and university student athletes who are recommended by their coaches and peers. As coaches they create motivation through inspiration and incentives for participants (VIP attendance at a college game, for example).
“Good human-relations skills have the ability to change people from managing others to leading others.” John Rampey
The Playmakers is a youth mentoring non-profit organization which uses sports to motivate at-risk youth to improve reading skills, grades, behavior and becoming more accountable individuals overall (character growth). Playmakers educates youth and supporting family members in core values of Academics, Serving Others, and Competing with Honor.
Join us for an evening of friendship and inspiring stories.
The Playmakers 2017 Annual Tri Tip Dinner
Saturday, April 29
6:00pm @ Divine Savior Church
9079 Greenback Lane, Orangevale
Over the last year, the students in our Playmakers Academy have shown us how they are learning positive character traits and practicing acts of kindness in their community.
During the evening you will meet our coaches who work with our Lil’ Pups, and hear stories about how our programs are giving youth the power to change their world.
How you can contribute: In addition to your dinner ticket, we ask you invite a friend who shares your passion for helping youth. You can help us spread the word about how we are changing young lives in disadvantaged communities.
Big Day of Giving 2017: This year The Playmakers is participating in this nationwide event to raise funds to keep our programs in place. Our goal is to match a 21,000 donation in place from our civic group sponsors. You can learn more about our Big Day of Giving campaign here.
On-going funding is vital to keep our programs running. From our trained coaches and Let’s Go Learn software licensing, to t-shirts and field trips for each young Playmaker. We are providing tools and support to make a difference in the lives of lost kids, empowering them to overcome life’s challenges.
Even a small donation can make a huge difference. This year, the minimum pledge is only $15, and that can be used for field trips or a pizza day reward celebration. Our programs are provided at no cost to the student or parent, so every dollar helps.
Since the beginning of Playmakers, our core mission has not changed. I believe in every generation, we desperately need youth of character who are built to serve others. By contributing to something bigger than themselves they, they learn their value and potential. Every youth we can affect will certainly be a Playmaker for life.
Executive Director, The Playmakers