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    Joining the Club

    Playing foosball with the youth

    Photo By Spc. Travis Terreo | Blake Ferguson, Army All-American Bowl East Team long snapper, plays games with the...... read more read more



    Story by Pvt. Travis Terreo 

    205th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    San Antonio- High school athletes from around the United States joined ranks
    with Army Soldier Mentors in San Antonio for the 2015 Army All American
    Bowl. One of the first community outreach events for the athletes and Soldier Mentors
    was a visit to the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio.

    “This is by far my favorite part of the week,” said Sgt. 1st Class William
    Shearer, 1st Special Forces Group. “It's really neat to get to hang with these

    Zuani Villarreal, the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio Director of
    Development, said the Boys and Girls Club is always trying to bring in role
    models, but the athletes were able to surprise the kids, which doesn't happen
    very often.

    “This is just an incredible experience, getting to hang out with all the kids
    and just show them what they can achieve if they work hard and do their best,”
    said Blake Ferguson, an East team long snapper. “We're just trying to be role
    models and set a good example for these kids to look up to.”

    Visits such as these are also an opportunity for the children to meet a
    variety of different people from different professions and learn about them and
    what they do. The visitors are often able to teach the children valuable lessons
    about how they got to where they are and how the children may be able to get to
    where they want to be.

    “Showing these kids that they don't have to settle for less just because
    what they want seems out of reach is important,” said Rodrigo Blankenship, an
    East team kicker. “You can make your dreams work and accomplish your goals if
    you don't give up.”

    Villarreal also noted that having positive influences around these children
    is a part of the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio's motto. Many of the club's
    members lack these types of influences in their home life, so receiving them from
    guests like these athletes and Soldiers is a crucial part of the club's program.

    “The youth that we serve are at risk in areas of high poverty and high
    crime,” Villarreal said. “We are where we are needed most. We are trying to give
    these kids an opportunity towards a greater future; so something like this, to see
    these guys come in their uniforms and play with them and be positive role
    models, is something that is really eye opening for these kids.”



    Date Taken: 12.30.2014
    Date Posted: 12.31.2014 16:31
    Story ID: 151286
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

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