Raiders DE Jarvis Moss poses for a photo with local Berkeley police. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Recently, Raiders DE Jarvis Moss spoke at an East Bay United (EBU) sponsored event held at the Berkeley YMCA Teen Center in Berkeley, Calif. The function was to inspire the teens to push through adversity and stay away from drugs and violence.
According to the East Bay United website, EBU is a non-profit organization with programs created to keep its members striving to pursue a better education, healthy living, and be involved in their community. East Bay United also promotes sports and fitness to help fight obesity, diabetes, and encourage teamwork. The program is based out of facilities such as the YMCA, local schools and other community centers around the Bay Area.
The event began with an introduction and a brief speech by the local Berkeley police to address the importance of staying away from violence and being a positive influence in the community. Then, Moss, the guest of honor, took center stage speaking in front of over 75 teens whose eyes lit up as he began his discussion.
Moss began with a bold statement on how important it is to focus on goals and push through tough times. The five-year NFL veteran went on to connect with his audience and talk about some obstacles he personally faced in his hometown of Denton, Texas.
Bill Hartwood, a Director for the East Bay United Program was impressed with Moss's ability to share his personal struggle. "He really spoke from the heart, and it was really nice that he hit the subjects of non-violence and staying in school," said Hartwood. "That's what the kids needed to hear."
Moss also discussed his thoughts on staying passionate towards goals, being involved in the community, and maintaining an active lifestyle. He reminded the teens that everyone may have a different set of goals, but that it's important to be determined to succeed no matter what others might say.
He told the kids about his personal experiences of staying away from negative activities in his community. "I worked hard, stayed focus, stayed driven and that was really important in me succeeding," said Moss. "There were negative issues growing up of drugs and violence whether it involved my family or friends. I made up my mind that I wasn't going to be a part of it. I wanted to play football and go to college."
After the discussion, the students asked Moss questions about everything from what motivated him to stay in football to how much Moss bench presses. Then the students lined up row by row to get autographs and take pictures with such a member of their favorite football team.
"It was so kind of him to sign so many autographs for them," said Hartwood. "The event was small, sweet, and beautiful just the way we wanted it."
Moss was happy to represent the Raiders and spend his afternoon with the students at the Berkeley Teen Center. "I think it's huge for the kids and us," said Moss. "We want to be involved. We want to show ourselves and show that we are a positive influence out here and want to help the kids or whoever needs our help."