It’s not every day SESI students get to have an NFL player right in their living room.
But that’s exactly what happened for FCS PEAK Academy students on Friday, May 1. Indianapolis Colts player Rock Ya-Sin joined students from FCS PEAK Academy locations in Roswell, Hapeville and Union City, Georgia, via Zoom.
School social worker Joshua Sterling, MSW, arranged for the high-profile guest speaker as a thank you for students who remain dedicated to their schoolwork during remote learning because of COVID-19. He reached out to Ya-Sin, a fellow member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., in hopes he could share his inspiring story on growing up in Georgia to playing for the NFL.
The professional athlete spoke about his upbringing in Georgia, the challenges he faced while in high school and the transition to college life and ultimately, to the NFL. Offering motivation, he encouraged students to remain respectful, be accountable for their actions, and to do the right thing. Ya-Sin also spoke to the importance of having discipline and knowing what he wanted out of life from a young age.
“Lucky for me I made my mistakes early. By my junior year of high school, I was done making stupid mistakes, but no one is perfect – we all mess up,” he shared. “It’s about how you grow and learn from mistakes,” he said.
Ya-Sin reminded the students about the importance of discipline and going the extra mile for your dreams. “I’ve always had this discipline, and I believe that’s what separated me,” he said. “I was never the best, the biggest or the fastest, I just worked hard.”
The FCS PEAK Academies is a partnership between Fulton County Schools and Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI) to serve middle and high school students. The alternative education program offers a combination of computer-based learning, direct academic instruction, small group or individualized support, behavior modification and peer accountability.
Like all SESI schools, it provides an environment where students can realize their full potential.