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    Boysville children inspired by 2015 All-American Bowl players

    Boysville children inspired by 2015 All-American Bowl players

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Charlotte Reavis | A defensive tackle for the 2015 All-American Bowl's West team and Concord, Calif....... read more read more

    SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES

    12.30.2014

    Story by Cpl. Charlotte Reavis 

    345th Public Affairs Detachment

    SAN ANTONIO– After a grueling Tuesday morning practice, several members of the Army All-American Bowl West’s team went to Boysville, to interact with several of the children residing there.

    “I think they are college football players, future NFL players, here to share their stories,” a teenager and resident of the Boysville home said when she first saw the team members enter the gym. “(I think) they came here to have fun.”

    “You mean they are my age,” the teenager said; finding out the players are in high school. “Wow. These are kids my age and they want to make a difference with children that are their age?! That is inspiring.”

    “I go to school, do my homework, eat, sleep; just like they do,” Reginald ‘Khahlil’ McKenzie, a defensive tackle for the team, said. “I just happen to play football and play it well.”

    The 20 players and their Soldier mentors, scattered across the gym and chose different activities to participate in with the children including Jenga, hula hooping and jump rope, basketball and several other activities.

    Pablo Briones, a houseparent to nine girls in one of the Boysville cottages said, “The players were great. Even these giant kids were playing with our 7- and 8-year old kids, and they were not just sticking to teenagers.”

    McKenzie, a senior at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, Calif., said he volunteers while he is at home and enjoys putting a smile on other children’s faces. He was surprised he is thought of as a super star and stated that activities like this are not about himself or the other players but about making the kids they interact with feel happy and secure.

    According to their website, Boysville takes in boys and girls of all racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds from all over South Texas. They are placed at the residence because of abuse, neglect, abandonment or family disruption. Faith Green, a development associate at Boysville, said the home is a place where children who are in these different circumstances can be restored and have a family until they can be placed into foster care, go back to their families, or until they are old enough to move out on their own.

    “It’s very important that the Army All-American Bowl players and the Soldiers come out to us,” Green said. “It makes such a huge impact because what they are doing is they’re showing the children that there’s a way out of their circumstance; that their circumstance doesn’t define them.”

    “It makes me feel that I need to be inspired,” the Boysville teenager said. “Just because you are in a foster home doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. I feel inspired now to step up and do something with my life.”

    Green said that even if the children at Boysville do not want to be a football player or go into the military, they are getting to meet people who have accomplished their dreams. Although the time the players and the Boysville children spent together was short, both exclaimed how important this opportunity was to them and how inspired they felt from it.

    “It was a great experience,” Briones said. “The players showed the kids that you can have hopes and dreams. They did not hold themselves on a pedestal; they were so considerate, patient, respectful and well-mannered.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.30.2014
    Date Posted: 01.01.2015 20:56
    Story ID: 151304
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 
    Hometown: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US

    Web Views: 344
    Downloads: 0
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    Boysville children inspired by 2015 All-American Bowl players