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RISE With The Rams Concludes at NFL Headquarters
By Amanda Scurlock Sports editor
Published November 17, 2022

Student-Athletes who were involved in RISE with the Rams posed with panel discussion participants at the NFL Headquarters (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

To conclude their fifth season of RISE with the Rams, the Los Angeles Rams partnered with the NFL to host a culmination event for the four high school football teams that participated in the program. RISE with the Rams is designed to build bonds between Southern California high school football teams of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The schools involved this year were Bell, Los Angeles, Oaks Christian, and Simi Valley. During the six-session program, each football team was to work on a presentation to show what they learned. Each football team presented its projects to the other teams and members of the Rams and the organization RISE during the culmination program.

Through speeches, video presentations and poetry, the teams explained what they learned about several topics, including implicit bias, privilege, and equality. Some student athletes explained how they learned more about their teammates through the sessions.

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“It’s like a different type of bond because people don’t really talk about the struggles that they go through in everyday life,” said Oaks Christian linebacker Hayden Lowe. “It was cool and it made it like a sense of getting closer to your teammates.”

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Rams director of social justice and football development Johnathan Franklin noted how seeing the presentations was “inspiring.”

“Today was a perfect example of the power of sports, using this vehicle to really empower the future generation to rise up,” Franklin said. “They can take this moment back to their school, to their community, and create a greater chain.”

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After the presentations, there was a panel discussion with RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford, Rams wide receiver Lance McCutcheon, safety Russ Yeast, and director of Football Affairs Jacques McClendon. RISE senior director of empowerment Scarlen Martinez moderated the panel.

During the panel discussion, they talked about the importance of service, leadership, and being a voice for the voiceless.

Through RISE with the Rams, the football teams got a chance to visit SoFi Stadium and the Rams Training Camp in UC Irvine.

“I think everyone did a great job,” said Los Angeles High School offensive coordinator Dominique Thomas. “I was very proud as a coach to see them outside of the football field and to be able to interpret what they learned.”

Categories: Football | High School | Sports
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