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Whitaker and Bell Talk with Boys and Girls Club
T'Sharvan Bell and Jeffrey Whitaker

Feb. 20, 2012

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AUBURN - Football players T'Sharvan Bell and Jeffrey Whitaker spent last Thursday night working with Auburn's Cary Center on campus speaking with teens from the local Boys and Girls Club answering questions and encouraging them to continue striving for excellence.

"I just think that kids look up to athletes," said Bell. "Whether it is me or another athlete, any kind of word from somebody doing what we are doing at this level can help encourage and change somebody's life."

The Cary Center is an academic center on campus, which promotes philanthropic responsibility and non-profit leadership through the College of Human Sciences.

"We have a program called "Real Sense, Real Change," said Samantha Allbrook, operations manager for the Cary Center. "It is a venture between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County and our organization. We seek to teach the teens about financial and philanthropic responsibilities, so we do all types of responsibility exercises."

Bell and Whitaker answered questions ranging from time-management skills to what motivates them to do the best they can both on the field and in the classroom.

"I wanted to do this just to give back to the community," said Whitaker. "To help out and give hope to another kid. It is just something that I didn't have growing up and I know a lot of them need."

Cary Center special projects coordinator Whitney Griswold feels it is important to have strong role models like Bell and Whitaker to share their stories and give teens something positive to work toward.

"We have several kids who are athletes in high school and I think many of them have not had family members who have attended college, so they look up these guys," said Griswold. "They see guys who are working hard every day and have to meet academic obligations. It's the idea that nothing is going to be given to you really resonates with them and pushes them to work harder."

The Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies is a newly formed academic center in AU's College of Human Sciences that promotes financial and philanthropic responsibility and nonprofit leadership.



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