Houston Visits Frick Middle School

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Raiders DE Lamarr Houston poses for a photo with Frick Middle School's physical education coordinator Kermit Bayless.
Recently, Oakland Raiders DE Lamarr Houston visited the 6th grade students of Frick Middle School in Oakland, Calif. After tragically losing 8th grader Jimon Clark to violence in August and losing 6th grader Alana Williams to a hit and run last year, the staff of Frick Middle School was happy to have Houston come out to reenergize and motivate their students. The school hoped Houston would be able to reaffirm to the students that the violence and loss they have experienced over the last couple of years is not normal and should not be accepted or expected. Houston encouraged the students by sharing words about overcoming obstacles, setting goals and working hard to achieve them.

Jerome Gourdine, Principal of Frick Middle School, appreciated having Houston visit his students. "I hope [the kids] got out of this some encouragement to do well, and motivation to do well in school and how important it is. I feel that Mr. Houston was able to get that point home and, at the same time, have fun with the students too," said Gourdine.

Houston made sure he spoke to the sixth graders about keeping a positive attitude and the value of education. "I wanted to stress the fact that education is important to build a foundation for your future, how to set a plan up that you can accomplish and make it a plan that is applicable for you for success," said Houston.

After talking with the students, the Raiders rookie out of the University of Texas participated in a team relay race. The teams of four competed in a four-legged relay that included hula hoops and jump ropes. Although Houston and his team were not victorious, everyone enjoyed their time working together.

Physical education coordinator Kermit Bayless embraced the opportunity to have an Oakland Raider reinforce positive messages to the sixth graders. "Kids have a tendency to react to celebrities," said Bayless. "They hear us all the time so the message sort of gets worn down in their eyes but when a celebrity comes on campus, not only do they reinforce what we've been saying all the time, it adds a different climate to [the message]."

Houston understood the importance of creating a positive outlook for the students of Frick Middle School. He hopes he was able to motivate them to continue on a positive path in order to achieve their goals.

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