Kelvin Potts Jr.

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    I was introduced to the EOYDC family at a very young age. I remember the feeling of being a brand new face to everyone there. It was instant love. I found myself involved in activities faster than I would’ve imagined. Regina Jackson and Kwame Nitoto took me in and kept me positively active, and I became part of the EOYDC family. It was one of the best things that happened to me as a child, and I will forever cherish that feeling, and will never forget it.

    I’ve benefited mentally and physically from being a part of the EOYDC family. It really was like going somewhere where everybody knew your name and cared for you. They cared enough to discipline me. Kwame Nitoto once told me “discipline is mandatory for success”. That’s just one good example of the many words of wisdom that I received there. The quote meant so much to me that I never forgot it, and I try my best to live up to that today.

    I participated in many workshops that were offered to the youth at the EOYDC. We played on teams, particularly basketball, and went on field trips. Many of the friends that I had during that segment of life are my friends today, which is another blessing. The EOYDC taught and encouraged good manners, professionalism, and mainly respect. I remember hearing Ms. Regina say, “young man, pull your pants up”. For a young man to cooperate showed that he respected the culture of the Center as a whole. The EOYDC provided a place for youth to go to have fun, to be encouraged to develop their skills and to be rewarded for their contributions, to get good grades, to fellowship with other kids and to prepare themselves to go to college. It was a place that provided fun and discipline. There just wasn’t a better place for building a healthy self esteem. I always enjoyed being there and I can guarantee the EOYDC has had a positive impact on more youth than just me.

    It was no mystery that I loved basketball. I began playing basketball as a young boy, at the age of four. I was fortunate to play for the EOYDC Hoyas Basketball team. By being the point guard for the team, I gained a competitive edge that couldn’t have been developed anywhere else. Yes, I was born to compete, but the EOYDC gave me that “fight”. I loved to play basketball. Jamir and Randle were my assistant coaches at the time. Ms. Regina always had a solid staff beside her. Although I was young, and just having fun, I could see there was the business side of things that was being handled by her. I learned first hand that if you want something, you had to get up and work hard to get it. I had to maintain good academic standing in order to play. Homework was completed before practice and we all knew that school discipline issues were unacceptable. Being accountable for our actions was another valuable lesson learned to for the road to success.

    By playing for the Hoyas, I experienced traveling with my team. We went on trips, and played in various tournaments; Las Vegas, Sacramento, Reno and Menlo Park were just a few. Playing basketball for the Hoyas were some of the best times of my life. As a basketball team, we grew so close. We stayed at my teammate’s mother’s house just about every weekend. It’s funny now because I remember it would be about 12 of us claiming where we were going to sleep. You just don’t forget that stuff. It was more than a team, it was a brotherhood.

    My days of participation at the EOYDC came to a close during my 10th grade year. I went on to graduate from Fremont High School in 2005. I received a partial scholarship to play basketball at Clark Atlanta University. I played for one season there and earned “Freshman of the Year” award, despite our down record. I came back home for family reasons and now I attend Chabot College, where I will receive my Associate of Arts degree in June 2008. I was starting point guard for Chabot. I am now making plans to enter a four year college this fall. I will know soon which college and which team I will play for. My objective is to complete my Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and continue to receive a Masters. I am interested in teaching physical education, recreation, coaching, sponsoring basketball camps, leagues, tournaments and other porting events. I believe that sports and recreation is so important for developing positive and healthy young people.

    I am so grateful for the outcome of my childhood. With what I’ve learned, I feel I can be an influential leader. As a young man on the rise, I know things can get very hard, but because of some of the things the EOYDC has taught me, I feel I can pass any test and claim victory in every challenge ahead.

    Thank you EOYDC,
    Kelvin P. Potts, Jr.

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