Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings delivered a clear call to more than 300 youth athletic coaches and mentors to remember the crucial role they play in the lives of young men.
“For athletes, the most influential people [aside from] parents and peers are their coaches,” Jennings said. “It’s important for coaches to understand the influence they have, not only in sports and athletics, but also in life.”
Jennings, a father of four children and founder of The Greg Jennings Foundation for youth education, was a featured speaker at A CALL TO COACHES, an education and training event at the Minneapolis Convention Center in May. The event was organized by A CALL TO MEN, a leading national violence prevention organization founded by Ted Bunch and Tony Porter, which provides training and education for men, boys and their communities.
Around the country, A CALL TO COACHES events focus on giving coaches the tools they need to promote positive manhood in boys and young men. Topics at the Minneapolis event included healthy and respectful relationships, developing men of character and domestic violence prevention.
Michael Mason, Verizon’s chief security officer, agreed with Jennings in his remarks at the event. “Our boys need role models from a different part of life and a different part of society…to tell and show them what genuine respect looks like, and what healthy relationships look like.”
Verizon is now in its fourth year sponsoring A CALL TO MEN’s programs across the U.S.
“Verizon recognizes the awareness these organizations and events bring to our corporate cause to prevent domestic violence,” said Aaron Glass, Verizon Wireless executive director of network, who was also an event panelist. “When we raise awareness and reach influential adults, like coaches, with strategies and tools for prevention, we know we are changing the future one community at a time.”
The company’s HopeLine from Verizon program connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide and recycles unusable phones to help protect the environment. Since 2001, the HopeLine program has collected more than 10.8 million phones and provided more than $21.4 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations nationwide