Football strives to end stigma

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Attempting to end a stigma, football members spend their Wednesday afternoons tutoring grade students at Martha Baldwin Elementary School every week beginning April 25.  

Head Football Coach Kevin Encinas said that the negative stigma describes football players as students who do not try in their courses and only care for football. He wants to end that perception and substitute it with a more complimenting light.

On April 25, Encinas, joined by nine football members, went to volunteer at Martha Baldwin.

“We helped kids with everything,” junior Humberto Rivera said. “I helped [fourth graders] with the computers but I know my other friends helped [their students] with reading and math homework.”

As a child, Rivera never received this sort of support and was glad to be providing it to the younger generation. He likens what they do to a Big Brother Program. At the end of each session, Rivera said both parties are “happy.”

Encinas’s resolution resonates with what he and his football team did back when he was in high school and college. He describes giving back to the community as a responsibility.

“We would work at shelters and have barbecues for the community,” Encinas said. “When I went to college in Iowa, we helped out at the Special Olympics [and had] free wellness clinics for the community.”

Encinas feels that the program benefited the football players more than the students. He noticed that they were excited and eager to go back.
“Not only are we teaching them, Coach [Encinas] is teaching us at the same time,” Rivera said. “[He teaching us how to be mature, helpful, and caring. Basically, you can’t always be given things in life, you have to work for [it].“

Football players will be returning to help out at Martha Baldwin weekly on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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