American Ninja Warrior Host Akbar Gbajabiamila recently visited the Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Magnet students from Crenshaw High School. Gbajabiamila talked to the students about his career path and experience in the NFL. The students inquired about Gbajabiamila about his time in college and the benefits of being a TV show host.
Along with talking about his life experiences, Gbajabiamila expressed importance of financial literacy to the students. During his NFL years, his father told Gbagabiamila to save his money; however, his father did not tell him to invest his money, according to Gbagabiamila.
“You guys aren’t consumers, you guys should be producers,” he said to the students. “That’s what business is about: producing, making more money.”
Gbagabiamila shared advice with the children about following their passions and being proud of where they came from and of attending Crenshaw.
“Whenever somebody ask me they say: hey, what high school did you go to? I’m the first one to say ‘I went to Crenshaw high school’ because I know that there’s some challenges that we had that maybe the person next door didn’t have,” said Gbajabiamila. “I was okay with that because that made me stronger.”
Gbajabiamila graduated from Crenshaw in 1997. During his high school years, he played football and basketball. Gbajabiamila also participated in Food From the Hood, a student run salad dressing business that started at Crenshaw high, according to Gbajabiamila.
“It was a phenomenal program that taught me so much,” he said. “We had Prince Charles, the Prince of England come to this school on campus [and] had lunch with us here on campus because the product was that good.”
Business teacher Maynard Brown was happy to see the American Ninja Warrior host come back to Crenshaw and speak with the students.
“Its really what you hope for doing this kind of work that you grab young people, they turn around and get themselves in a position to reach back,” said Brown. “he’s done that.”