WR Jacoby Ford answers questions from Hesperian Elemntary School students. Photo by Alyssa Baza.
Recently, Oakland Raiders WR Jacoby Ford visited Hesperian Elementary School in San Lorenzo, Calif. to help kick off Red Ribbon Week. A prevention campaign dedicated to drug prevention and education, Red Ribbon Week is committed to the hopes and dreams of children. The students are encouraged to make better choices in order to reach their goals. "We are not only promoting healthy choices, but also staying drug-free," said school counselor Ashley Reichardt.
Ford spoke to the third through fifth grade students about the value of making decisions and not falling victim to peer pressure. "Growing up I did have to deal with drugs being offered," said Ford. "It was hard being around them because I felt at times that I need to do it to fit in with them. In the end, I realized that I just needed to be me and that was enough."
After speaking to about 300 students about his experiences overcoming obstacles, Ford fielded questions from the students. He explained how his family was the positive influence in his life that helped him become successful. "They made sure I stayed on top of my school work," said Ford. "To graduate was a big deal so I just wanted to please them and myself as well."
Wendy Garner, principal of Hesperian Elementary, was glad a positive role model from the Raiders could come speak to the students. "Kids need heroes in their lives and to see someone that's young and accomplished come speak to them was really important," said Garner.
Ford left Hesperian Elementary School hoping his words resonated with the students to help them make smart choices and follow their dreams.