Although a season ending injury sidelined Philadelphia Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver for the entire 2010-11 NFL season, it didn’t stop him from helping out off the field. Growing up in Melbourne, Florida, Weaver was always around kids who were involved in drugs, gangs and the violence that came along with them. An extraordinary athlete in school; participating in basketball, football, baseball and track, Weaver developed his leadership skills and learned how to mentor others around him. He wants to help keep the positive thoughts in the heads of the upcoming generation of youth since they are constantly being reminded of discouragement and failure in the communities around them.
He kicked off his program Weaver’s Workerz™, an inner-city program that focuses on helping young boys fulfill a successful life back in September, 2009 and is currently located in the Henry L. Bonsall Family School in Camden, New Jersey. The program focuses on four important components to living a successful life: social, mental, physical and spiritual development. The goal of the program is to teach and influence young boys to become strong men in every single aspect of their lives. By building their character, self-esteem and knowledge about themselves, the children at Weaver’s Workerz™ are given the help they need to help stimulate their minds and live a successful lifestyle. The program also includes a rich literacy component to the program which dedicates one hour of each session to reading and writing through a variety of means and modes.
The students range between the ages of 12 and 15, so usually they are in the 7th or 8th grade. During the 18-week program, students get the chance to meet Leonard’s fellow Eagles, tour Morgan State University, attend an Eagles game and participate in several other field trips. Weaver believes in a hands-on approach for the kids so he finds himself present at the school teaching and mentoring the children a lot of the time.
Weaver is also a proud founder of the Leonard Weaver Family Foundation, where he also works with inner-city youth. In his rookie season, his grandmother tragically died from complications of diabetes and it has only kept him motivated and has influenced him as a humanitarian. He understands that if we can educate the youth right now about proper health and nutrition, many lives can be spared down the road from this deadly disease.
He believes that collectively as a city we can raise children who are prepared both mentally and physically to succeed in their schools, communities and homes and become all-around better human beings. Youth are influenced by the people around them, by the people in the spotlight and by the people they admire. If we don’t start setting an example now, they may never get the idea.
For more information on the Leonard Weaver Family Foundation & Weaver’s Workerz™, visit http://www.leonardweaverfoundation.org/index.html
For more information on diabetes, visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002194/