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Charities pitch in for youth

By TAYLOR REED, Contributing Writer

The NBA All-Star weekend will be returning to Dallas, Texas for the first time in 24 years. 

The BET foundation, with help from local charities Allan Houston Legacy Foundation, Dwight D. Howard Foundation, International Children’s Support Foundation, Hip Hop 4 Life, Faithlogic Industries, music celebrities, and two NBA All-Star players came together to create “The Xperience” for youth and their families. 

Together these organizations will host a series of events to share their vision on reaching out to the youth and encouraging them to make good choices throughout their life. 

“The Xperience” outreach foundation was created to ensure that championship level sporting events throughout the nation offer events that reinforce positive values, and inspire participants to be individuals of strength, passion, honor and integrity.

The week will start off bright and early Monday, Feb. 8 as NBA and NFL players, along with community partners Heart of A Champion, Steve Riach, Project Turn Around, Dr. Tony Evans and Justice Revival Dallas, Randy Skinner speak at over 40 school assemblies.  These assemblies are intended to reach out to students and discuss topics of abstinence, positive choices, self-esteem and other important issues.
(read full article)

OKC-based Express Personnel Services expands Heart of a Champion

Last year, Express Personnel Services, along with the Oklahoma City Blazers and RedHawks, sponsored the Heart of a Champion program for area middle school students.

The program created by the Heart of a Champion Foundation, a nonprofit agency based in Dallas, provides character education materials to elementary, middle school and high school students in 11 states.

About 8,000 middle school students in the Oklahoma City area participated in the character development program during the first year. (read full article)

The Chiefs and QB Damon Huard Show "Heart" at Local School

There are many characteristics utilized by an individual who toiled in near obscurity before finally becoming more than an afterthought as an NFL quarterback. Without a doubt, heart would be one of the most important. Thanks to that attitude, Kansas City Chiefs QB Damon is well aware (read full article)

Park View Intermediate, Houston Texans to provide character education program

Park View Intermediate School is partnering with the Houston Texans Foundation to provide the “Heart of a Champion” Character Development Program to students.

The “Heart of a Champion” program provides classroom resources such as real-life video and printed stories to present the subject matter to the students in sixth grade and up. Class and individual exercises help students to apply nine traits (read full article)

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The Chiefs Show Their Heart

There are many characteristics utilized by an individual who toiled in near obscurity before finally becoming a full-time NFL starting quarterback. With out a doubt, heart would be one of the most important. Thanks to that attitude, Chiefs two-time team MVP Trent Green is well aware of the importance that character has played in both his professional and personal endeavors. That’s why he, along with Tavia Hunt, spoke with some local middle schoolers on behalf of the Heart of a Champion program. (read full article)

Huard shows 'Heart'
Kurt Kloeblen
Staff writer

A group of students in Meredith Barthol’s seventh-grade class at Center Middle School watched a short video on perseverance Nov. 28.

Dressed in his jersey and blue jeans, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard sat behind the students. The backup quarterback said he knows a little something about perseverance, which is one of the reasons he appeared as part of the students’ Heart of a Champion curriculum.

Heart of a Champion is involved with several Kansas City-area schools. The program lasts nine months and covers subjects including commitment, leadership, teamwork, responsibility, self control and perseverance.

Huard spoke to the students about persevering throughout much of his career. He has the distinction of being second on the depth chart behind some of the top quarterbacks in football history. He sat behind Dan Marino during his final years with the Miami Dolphins and backed up Tom Brady during a stint in New England, where the Patriots won two Super Bowls.

With the Chiefs, Huard backed up Trent Green for three years, before taking the starting position a few times last year and this year.

Huard told students that when Marino retired, he thought it could be his turn in the spotlight. But a new coach and quarterback dashed those hopes and Huard got cut from the Dolphins.

“When one door closes another one opens,” Huard said. “I was able to be a backup for the Patriots and was able to get two Super Bowl rings. That’s a highlight of my career. That just shows you whenever you get knocked down, another opportunity arises.”

Students shared their experiences dealing with failure and how they persevered.

Steve Riach, Heart of a Champion board chairman, said when someone of Huard’s status speaks to a class certain lessons can be learned.

“It does a couple things,” Riach said. “At times when they say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this program,’ a student may think this is just another program. But when someone comes in from the outside that has credibility, I think it really reinforces what they’re doing. Obviously, with this program, we appreciate it very much.

When someone like Damon comes in and he has the experiences he does, he has the heart to make a difference in the hearts of kids. It gives him the opportunity to combine with something they’re already learning.”

Huard said he is not sure why a celebrity or athlete can make a bigger impact in sending a message.

“Maybe it’s just that they see us on TV,” Huard said. “Sports are so important in our society, especially the Chiefs in this community. So maybe they recognize the name and you hope maybe they will listen to you a little more