The Los Angeles Rams partnered with LAUSD to have a career panel series at Jordan High School. This was a part of a six-school career-panel series.
The panel started with a virtual NCAA presentation that explained what classes student athletes need to take to be academically eligible to compete at the college level. The presentation taught students how to create accounts on the NCAA website and gave them tips on improving study habits.
Jordan junior Daniel Ibarra plays football, volleyball, and basketball. The presentation taught him about recruiting and what he needs to do to be eligible for scholarships.
“This information, I really need because I want to get recruited for college,” Ibarra said. “If I get this information now, it’s gonna benefit me for senior year.
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The career panel featured Rams social justice and football development coordinator Noel Grigsby jr., City Year Los Angeles community partnership manager Samuel Blanco, Jordan assistant principal Ginger Stemnock and LAPD sergeant in public engagement in youth programming Luqman Watkins.
Stemnock, who was a competitive swimmer at Stanford during her collegiate years, talked about how she got into the education field.
Jordan girls basketball player and track athlete Dearviana Watts was happy the Rams came to visit Jordan High School. She learned that she would meet the requirements to be a division I college athlete.
“They told us the experiences they didn’t get, the stuff that we need to know, like having a backup plan or having people to talk to, communicating with a lot of people,” Watts said. “Not being afraid to network.”
Jordan senior football and basketball player Gregory Edwards is the All-Metro League MVP, having led the league in all-purpose yards and rushing yards. Learning about the requirements to become a division I player stuck out to him.
“It opened up my eyes for a lot of things, more opportunities because at first I just thought maybe one of my coaches can put me out there,” Edwards said. “But now I see the presentation, if I put myself out there first, it would be more helpful for me to get out there sports-wise and academic-wise.”
Grigsby talked about his football career at San Jose State. Blanco shared his experience in college; he noted how grateful he was to the Rams for being able to speak with youth.
“It was a pleasure to share my story and talk about the opportunities available for young people within City Year Los Angeles,” Blanco said. “I was also inspired by the stories of the other panelists. Events such as the career panel provide exposure and hope to high school students.”
Watkins explained how he works to improve civilians’ perception of police officers and how he too had a collegiate football career.
“I’ve been through some dynamic things and held some dynamic positions,” Watkins said. “Going from playing college football to going to the Navy working in a dynamic environment and then coming to the police department.”