DeSean Jackson Leaves a Lasting Impression on Tampa’s Youth

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2019

DeSEAN Jackson Leaves a Lasting Impression on Tampa’s Youth

Shaka Jasper, Chairman of the Pi Iota Chapter, of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the students from the Ernest E. Just Elementary, Just Omega Gentlemen’s Club, reached out to Philadelphia Eagle, DeSean Jackson, to thank him for the lasting impression; and, impact Jackson made in their lives during his tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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“Although, DeSean Jackson is no longer playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers his presence is still being felt here in the Tampa Bay area”, states Jasper. “Through the emotional dedication and donation made by the DeSean Jackson Foundation, 20 boys, in the Just Elementary Omega Gentlemen’s Program; and 20 girls from the girls program were treated to a day of fun and fellowship, at PK’s Play Zone, as a result of a generous donation from DeSean Jackson. Although, his time here wasn’t long, DeSean Jackson made a substantial impact in our community and the lives of the young men he mentored in the Just Omega Gentlemen’s Club. He will be greatly missed here in the Tampa Bay area; and, we wish him the best of luck in his return to the Philadelphia Eagles.”

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More About the Ernest E. Just Elementary Omega Gents

The Omega Gent’s mentoring program was established at E.E. Just Elementary, Title I. School, in Tampa, in 2010. Omega Psi Fraternity, along with school personnel, have been mentoring about 35 students a year. This club’s program ideas are based on the vision of Stephen G Peters, founder of the original Gentlemen’s Club, that was established at Just Elementary in 2008. Its vision is for all students to become life-long learners and have an impact in their community.

Just Elementary is located in West Tampa across from the North Boulevard Homes, where students have been a product of generational poverty. Just is a Title I school with 98% of its students receiving free or reduced lunch. Although, the community is undergoing redevelopment, the population has decreased due to gentrification, and the needs of the students who remain unchanged.

Contact for E.E. Just Elementary: Ire Carolina, Principal, (813) 276-5708, website: sdhc.k12.fl.us

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DeSean Jackson Foundation Supports Street Car of Hope Donation Drive

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img_0454 (1) Gayle Jackson, President, DeSean Jackson Foundation and Kayla Phillips, Actress/Model/Entrepreneur

On December 10, DeSean Jackson, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the DeSean Jackson Foundation answered an appeal for support from 95.7 The Beat (Tampa Bay’s Hip Hop & R&B Station) for its’ inaugural holiday Street Car of Hope Donation Drive, at West Shore Plaza, to collect toys, clothing, household items, gift cards to fill the TECO Line Streetcar.

Proceeds and in-kind donations from the event were distributed to The Spring of Tampa Bay and The Guardian ad Litem Program of Hillsborough County. The DeSean Jackson Foundation and Kayla Phillips made a generous donation to the event; and, Gayle Jackson, President, of the foundation appealed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fans for support during the event. DeSean Jackson was unable to attend the event but did make a public statement of support and appreciation to 95.7 for the impact they are making in changing the lives of vulnerable individuals, families and children in our community.

IMG_0446.jpgKayla Phillips, Desmond Jackson (DeSean Jackson’s brother) and Gayle Jackson

img_0449 (1)Gayle Jackson and Kayla Phillips

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About: The Spring of Tampa Bay. Mission: To Prevent Domestic Violence, Protect Victims and promote Change in the Lives, Families and the Community. For more information, please visit http://www.thespring.org/

About: Guardian ad Litem Program of Hillsborough County. Advocates for children and youth who have been abandoned, battered abuses, neglected. For more information, please visit http://www.galtampa.org

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DeSean Jackson Scheduled to Visit Just Elementary and Stewart Middle School Today

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gayle Jackson, DeSean Jackson Foundation @deseanjacksonfoundationceo@yahoo.com

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One Team, One Purpose!

DeSean Jackson, CEO and Co-Founder, of the DeSean Jackson Foundation, and his mother, Gayle Jackson, are scheduled to visit Ernest Just Elementary and Stewart Middle School, Tampa, Florida. Mr. Jackson is scheduled to arrive at Ernest Just Elementary at 12:30 p.m. to meet with the high-regarded principal, Principal Ire Carolina,students and faculty; and, the Jacksons will continue on to Stewart Middle School directly afterwards to make a presentation of new books to the esteemed principal of Stewart Middle Magnet School, Dr. Baretta Wilson.
dr. wilsonDr. Barretta Wilson, Principal, Stewart Middle School with DeSean and Byron Jackson (DeSean’s brother)

Gayle Jackson, a former probation officer in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA, states that today’s visits will, hopefully, raise social consciousness to the national dialogue regarding social injustice, disparities and gentrification; and, showcase two schools that are changing the lives of vulnerable families and children in their communities regardless of their dire circumstances.
ernest just day 27Ire Carolina, Principal, Ernest Just Elementary and DeSean Jackson, CEO, DeSean Jackson Foundation

Principal Carolina states, “Our vision, at Ernest Just Elementary, is for students to become life-long learners and have a positive impact on their community. Just Elementary is located in West Tampa across from North Boulevard Homes where students have been a product of generational poverty”. Stewart Middle School is in walking distance from Just Elementary, states DeSean Jackson, and its awesome to see how the students excel under Dr. Wilson’s leadership. Both Dr. Wilson and Principal Carolina are dedicated to providing their students and families with as many opportunities as possible to prepare them academically and socially for life’s challenges.

It is imperative, Gayle Jackson states, that my son know the true meaning of Social Justice, and to use the platform that he has been blessed with to impact the lives of those who have no voice. Today, marks another step in that direction in our lives as a family and advocates for social change.

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DeSean Breaks Jerry Rice’s Record with 60 TD Catch

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Published on October 28, 2018

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DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver, broke Jerry’s Rice’s record for the most touchdown catches of 60 or more yards during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati BengalsDeSean Jackson now has 24 career touchdowns of 60 or more yards, which is the most in NFL history.  Jackson was humbled when he received a congratulatory Tweet from Jerry Rice who he regards as the G.O.A.T. [Greatest of All Time] who shared his wisdom and knowledge about the game early in his Jackson’s career.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston hit DeSean Jackson in the second quarter before the veteran went untouched for the score to make the game 21-6. DeSean Jackson reached another career milestone in last week’s win over the Cleveland Browns when he became the 47th NFL player to reach 10,000 receiving yards.

During the post-game interviews, Jackson expressed his gratitude to the Tampa Buccaneers, the Glazer Family and his teammates for giving him the opportunity to achieve this major milestone in his career.  “I take pride in knowing that I achieved this goal in a Bucs‘ jersey for our team and the Buccaneer fans” stated Jackson.

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– J.L. Adams, DeSean Jackson Foundation

 

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Bucs players add support to Tampa ex-offender program

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Repost By:  J. Adams, DeSean Jackson Foundation: October 16, 2018

Bucs players add support to Tampa ex-offender program

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TAMPA — Buccaneers players spent Tuesday morning at Abe Brown Ministries in Belmont Heights listening to stories of redemption. The second stop on the team’s player-driven Social Justice Initiative schedule saw players immersed in a classroom setting alongside those currently making the adjustment from incarceration to becoming productive members of the workforce.
They heard a testimonial from Khadijah Lee, who served time for a drug conviction but through the Ready4Work Hillsborough ex-offender support program at Abe Brown Ministries now works at the Hillsborough County public defender’s office. “I think just in general, it was everyone’s openness and candidness that stood out,” said Bucs offensive guard Ali Marpet, who is one the initiative’s player board. “It’s not easy to talk about your life story to complete strangers and the fact that everyone was able to do that was really a testament to who they are. It’s really powerful stuff.”The Buccaneers’ year-round Social Justice Initiative, which was launched last month, was created to focus on police relations, criminal justice reform, racial equality, workforce development and youth empowerment.

The program was born when players wanted to make a grassroots effort to address social injustice issues beyond the on-field kneeling during the national anthem. “These were things that were important to the players,” said Bucs co-owner and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation president Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. “They are putting this together. They are leading this. Prisons, back-to-work, empowerment for people, this is something they are very interested in. … That’s the beautiful thing about this program. It’s player-led, so it’s whatever touches their passion individually. That’s why it’s going to be so true and authentic, and why it’s going to be so amazing.”The program’s first event took players to Tampa Police Department’s Citizens Academy, where they reenacted scenarios in which officers must make life-changing decisions quickly.

Tuesday’s visit took them to a much different side to the spectrum, listening to those who have served time in jail and now are trying to overcome the stigma being labeled as criminals. Through the Ready4Work program, clients go through a four-to-six week, five-time a week career development crash course, the first step of helping them get jobs and reunite with their families. The program began locally four years ago, and of the 800 clients, 500 have completed the career development program, said Abe Brown Ministries president and Ready4Work director Robert Blount. It can be a challenge to getting clients jobs. Candidates have a 70 percent placement rate ad a 70 percent retention rate of being on the job 90 days of longer, Blount said. Blount said having the Bucs players —seven players attended the event, including Social Justice player board members Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith —visit a class offered “mutual exposure.”

Justice player board members Marpet and Donovan Smith —visit a class offered “mutual exposure.”

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The player-led, year-round Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Initiative — created with $1 million in matching funds from the Glazer family — has adopted the motto, “We are the change.” @Buccaneers @TB_Times @NFLSTROUD http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bucs/2018/09/18/bucs-announce-social-justice-initiative/ 

“I think it puts a face on it for them,” Blount said. “It goes beyond an Orange County jail uniform or a state prison blue suit. It goes beyond a DOC number. These are mothers, these are fathers. They’re real people like you and I, so I think it helps them to kind of put it in perspective, yeah you hear this label, but these are real people like you and I.“They’re more than just a label. From an athlete’s standpoint, I’m sure some of them have been labeled. Yeah, he’s just a dumb jock. So having to endure and overcome those labels, knowing that just because you have that label, you don’t have to accept it.”

Smith sat next to Kingson Aristil, who served 10 years in jail. Aristil, who ran track, cross country and played baseball at an Orlando high school, was incarcerated when he was 18. He is in his fourth week of the Ready4Work program, and looks forward to owning his own business one day.“For the first five years of my incarceration, I beat myself up about seeing guys I went to school with make it pro,” Aristil said. “A little bit of jealousy and envy went through me because I felt like I needed to be them. … Right now, in my life, I’m getting to a point of contentment. I’m happy seeing guys who are younger than me in the NFL doing what they need to do and coming back and giving back. I was broken. I was hurt. I thought I would never be able to compensate for the 10 years that I lost. My spirit feels at peace here. I feel humble here. I feel love.”

“Football and life parallels in a lot of ways,” the Bucs’ Donovan Smith said. “It’s about second chances. Every day, we’re given the chance to be our best. Unfortunately, in society, poorly-made decisions in people’s lives can kind of negate those chance. To come to a place where they are able to be in the path on their way back to normal society, it’s huge. We wanted to make it a point to be there and understand and sit down and talk with the people who are going through these things and hit it all. “Everybody goes through things,” he added, “Just hearing their stories and their similarities, it’s was lack of a better word, weird, because we are on two different ends to the spectrum, but we have similar backgrounds. It was just great to get here and hear the testimonies and just sit down one-on-one with them.

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Bucs announce social justice initiative

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Bucs announce social justice initiative

DeSean Jackson Partners with E. E. Just Elementary to Empower & Motivate Tampa Youth

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Press Release

Tampa Florida,  September 3, 2018

DeSean Jackson, All Pro wide receiver, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his mother, Gayle Jackson, announced today that they have accepted an invitation, from Ire Carolina, Principal, Ernest E. Just Elementary, to partner with the Jacksons and their foundation in an effort to empower and motivate Just Elementary students.

Gayle Jackson states that the timing is perfect.  Last year, we were new to the Tampa Bay NFL franchise market. DeSean’s work schedule, the move and getting acclimated to a new team and City were first and foremost.  This year, we wanted to re-brand and launch the DeSean Jackson Foundation in Tampa; and, it was important to DeSean that we go “off the grid” to develop a partnership with an elementary, middle and high school where he could be very engaged and impact the lives of those we serve.

Just Elementary is good fit because Ernest E. Just was a pioneering African-American biologist, academic & science writer.  Gayle wants to challenge the students to preserve Mr. Just’s legacy; and, hopefully, aspire to a career in research for a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.  She also wants to encourage other NFL Moms, of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ players, to join her in bringing Read Across America to Just Elementary.

DeSean is looking forward to meeting with the young men and boys in the Just Gents Club and sharing his experiences and “Rites of Passage into Manhood’ as learned from his father, the streets of Crenshaw, the NFL and now as a father himself.

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Contact For the DeSean Jackson Foundation:  Gayle Jackson, President, DeSean Jackson Foundation, E-Mail: deseanjacksonfoundationceo@yahoo.com

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Ernest E. JUST ELEMENTARY

August 29, 2018

To:  Mrs. Gayle Jackson and Mr. DeSean Jackson –  DeSean Jackson Foundation 

The Omega Gent’s mentoring was established here at the Ernest E. Just Elementary in 2010.  Omega Psi Fraternity, along with school personnel, have been mentoring about 35 students a year. This club’s program ideas are based on the vision of Stephen G. Peters, founder of the original gentlemen’s club, “Just Gents”, that was established here at Just Elementary in 2008.   The ideals of the program are to reach and educate All of our children one child at a time. The Just Gents Club provides a vehicle to accomplish this goal.

Our vision at Just Elementary is for students to become life-long learners and have a positive impact on their community. Just Elementary is located in West Tampa across from the North Boulevard Homes where students have been a product of generational poverty. Just is a Title I school with 98% of our students receiving free or reduced lunch. Although the community is undergoing redevelopment and our population has decreased, our student needs have not changed. We strive to provide them with as many opportunities as possible to prepare them academically and socially, but the support of outside organizations is imperative to help us meet our goals. My mantra is the Possibilities are Endless….Just Believe!

Just would love the opportunity to partner with your son, DeSean, and the DeSean Jackson Foundation. Personally, I am a fan of DeSean’s and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would truly be an honor for my students and school to be affiliated with your foundation.

I look forward to working with you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ire Carolina, Principal

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About:  The Just Gents, Ernest E. Just Elementary, Tampa, Florida

The Just Gents meet twice a month to learn character development concepts and discuss the value of true friendship. Role-playing and modeling techniques are used to create and enhance the individual self-esteem and a number of icebreakers and a scenarios are used to practice effective teamwork. The boys are in grades 3 to 5 and range from 8 to 11 years old.

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The Just Gents program is based upon the cardinal principles  Rites of Passage Into Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and to Uplift the school’s name sake Ernest E. Just, who was a founding member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

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Members of the community are brought in to speak with the youth and encourage them to value themselves, families, friends and neighbors. Throughout the year, the youth learn new strategies to deal with the hardships of school and life as a young male growing up in today’s culture. At the end of the year the youth are engaged in challenges to complete task to exemplify what they have learned throughout the year.

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Upon completing the program the youth receive awards however the youth who complete the challenges are awarded enriched achievement awards such as bicycles, gift cards, etc. at the end of the year banquet.

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ABOUT:  Ernest E. Just Elementary

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Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941) was a pioneering African American biologist, academic and science writer. Just’s primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. In his work within marine biology, cytology and parthenogenesis, he advocated the study of whole cells under normal conditions, rather than simply breaking them apart in a laboratory setting. In addition to his scientific contributions, On November 17, 1911, Ernest E. Just assisted three Howard students in establishing Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Originally a Junior High School that opened to relieve overcrowding at nearby Blake High School, Just had subsequently been used as a Head Start and 6th Grade Center, and then as an Early Childhood Center, serving preschool, Head Start, and Kindergarten children, until its closing in 2003. In 2003, construction began on a new Elementary School that would, for the first time in 30 years, provide services to the students from its community.
On August 5, 2004, Ernest E. Just Elementary opened its doors to a student population that quickly rose to over 650 children. The staff at Just is striving to provide each and every student with an education and sense of self-worth that will carry them well beyond the education system. Carrying the torch in a legacy that began with our namesake is a challenge that enriches not only the students and staff of Ernest E. Just Elementary, but also the community and beyond.  

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ERNEST E. JUST ELEMENTARY – DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION (by %)
Total Enrollment 305 students
Asian 0.98%
Black 85.57%
Hispanic 9.84%
Indian 0.00%
Multi 1.64%
White 1.97%

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL Record

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Repost: By The DeSean Jackson Foundation, 8/12/2018

 

We’re close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs’ season ahead.

DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice’s career NFL records. No, not the 197 career touchdown catches, not the 1,549 career catches, not the 22,895 career receiving yards — to be clear, nobody in history is within 40 touchdowns or 220 catches or 6,000 yards of those marks. Pretty amazing.

The record in jeopardy? Most total touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a career. Jackson has 22; Rice has the record at 23, so with just two deep balls in 2018, Jackson has a cool (if obscure) place in the history books. Want to stump a friend? Ask who the next three on the list are. Maybe you get Devin Hester (21), but probably not Bobby Mitchell (20 from 1958-68) or Lance Alworth (19 from 1962-72).

Jackson didn’t have any plays of 60-plus yards last season, just the second time in his nine NFL seasons that he went a full year without one, along with 2011.

Jackson’s 60-yard touchdowns come from all over — 14 with the Eagles, eight with the Redskins; 17 on receptions, one on a rush and four on returns. He had six (!) in 2009.

You can find video of most of the 22 here on the NFL’s site.

Since 1994 (as far as pro-football-reference.com goes back for this), Jackson has the most 60-yard touchdown receptions with 17, more than Randy Moss (16), Terrell Owens (13) and Steve Smith (12). The only NFL player with 10-plus 60-yard TD runs in that span is Adrian Peterson, with 13.

How embarrassingly close was Jackson to another 60-yard score? In 2011, he had a 61-yard touchdown catch that was reviewed and determined to be a 60-yard catch and fumble at the 1-yard line as he tossed the ball a split-second too early in celebration. The Eagles punched it in on the next play.

The Bucs last year also charted Jackson’s all-time ranking in total touchdowns of 50-plus yards. He has 26, and one more will tie him with Owens for third at 27; only Moss (29) and Rice (36) have more than that. So anyway, you have something obscure to root for in 2018. We’ll have more traditional records (that don’t involve Rice) that could fall as the season nears …

 

DeSean Jackson lifts spirits of teen D.J. Myers, who was paralyzed last year at a football camp

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TAMPA, Fla. — By the time Rhonda D’Haiti got to her 16-year-old son D.J. Myers’ side on July 25, 2017, he’d been strapped to a stretcher, airlifted to the hospital and was moments away from undergoing a 10-hour surgery. Unable to move from the neck down, he looked up at her and said, “If I can’t play football, I’m going to die.”

Fast-forward one year, and Myers, who is now 17, is in a wheelchair and unable to feel anything below his belly button. Football is out of the question, and he has yet to return to his regular classes at South Lake High School in Groveland, Florida. But he’s in good spirits and thriving, thanks in part to some encouragement from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson, whom Myers met in person for the first time Saturday.

“I can’t do it, I can’t do it,” Myers said, fighting back tears, burying his face in his hands and unable to look up as the three-time Pro Bowler walked toward him. “Oh my God, man. Oh my God.”

It was Jackson’s face he saw on a cellphone video, days after surgery, when he was recovering, and Jackson’s autographed jersey that came in the mail. Several friends and family members had reached out to the Buccaneers, telling them about the accident, the result of a collision during a football camp.

“What’s going on D.J.? It’s DeSean Jackson, wide receiver [for the] Buccaneers,” he said in the video. “I heard I was your favorite player. I just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery. Put God first, keep praying, I’ll pray for you as well and hopefully everything goes back to normal. I’m sorry about your injury. Get well, and like I said, put God first and God bless you. Take care, man.”

“I know he was down. I just wanted to send him an encouraging message, to not get down on himself,” Jackson told ESPN. “When you’re diagnosed with being paralyzed and not having a chance to walk, that’s definitely a devastating thing. So [I was] just trying to motivate him and cheer him up a little bit.”

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Doctors had to go through the front of Myers’ neck and then the back to remove a fractured C5 vertebra and replace it with a metal piece. A rod was inserted where he fractured his C6, fusing it with the bone. Myers had to have a tracheotomy tube put in to help him breathe. He was in the hospital for almost four months. Hearing from his hero, whom he’d followed since middle school and whose jersey Nos. 1 and 11 he wore, too, brought a glimmer of hope when Myers needed it most.

“I was really in a down place. When he sent that, it really made me want to do therapy, it made me want to get up out of the bed, just do stuff like that,” Myers said. “I was doing therapy, literally, and he sent me the video, my heart just like dropped. I was like, ‘Wow. He really cares for me.’ It really touched my heart that he did that for me. Because not a lot of players would ever be able to do that, ya know?”

Doctors told the family it’s too soon to determine how much Myers will recover. His spinal cord wasn’t severed, but there was damage to it, a condition referred to as incomplete quadriplegia. Myers has regained a small amount of dexterity in his hands. He gets severe headaches, too. Then there are the muscle spasms and stiffness in his legs. The physical therapy has been exhausting.

“It’s like you having a migraine, times 100,” D’Haiti said of her son’s condition. “I don’t know if it’s the shock that goes through his body, but [there] are times where the [muscle] spasms can be so intense that it will literally freeze him.”

Miraculously, though, Myers has been able to stay on track with his schoolwork through correspondence courses and finished last year with a 4.0 GPA. He is entering his senior year and took senior pictures with his high school teammates.

Additionally, Myers has been nominated for the Teen Leadership Council at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and is now running for president of the council.

“His spirit has never faded,” D’Haiti said. “His faith has never faded. He’s still a typical 17-year-old. Like he always says, ‘He’s broken but not defeated.’ That’s his mindset that we try and keep.”

Jackson introduced him to teammates as his little brother. They talked football and video games. Jackson even said he’d get him a copy of the new Madden for his Xbox.

“Is your game nice though? Is it nice or not?” Jackson joked.

Myers snapped back, “Yeah, man, I will whoop you!”

Jackson laughed, “I’ve gotta get your gamer tag then.”

“[I told him], ‘Don’t get down on yourself,'” Jackson said. “I know it’s hard, it’s tough, especially going through therapy. [He’s] taking it one step at a time and just really trying to better himself. Mentally, just not being able to just get up and go outside and walk and play with friends, I’m sure it’s [frustrating], but I’m just trying to encourage him …”

Jackson’s encouragement means a lot, especially now. High school football is starting up again. Myers’ dream was to earn a college scholarship to play at Florida State. Now, he’s volunteering as an assistant to help the high school’s coaching staff, who honored him by retiring his jersey.

Jackson marveled at Myers’ willingness to help his teammates.

“That just shows his motivation, his willingness not to quit, to not give up,”  Jackson said. “It shows other players around him that he might be going through something tragic, but he’s gonna continue to be motivated. It shows others around him that it’s not gonna break him.”