Public Safety

Juvenile Detainees Get Visit From Charger Player

Young people working to get their lives back on track enjoyed a little coaching on keys to success from a San Diego Charger Tuesday.

Students at Juvenile Hall wrote letters to the team a couple months ago inviting the players to visit and encourage them as they competed in the quarterly President’s Fitness Challenge this week.

Recently, students learned the Chargers organization had accepted their invitation. On Tuesday, rookie running back Edwin Baker visited the Kearny Mesa facility and told the kids their futures were bright—despite their current troubles.

“Any one of you guys can do anything you want,” the soft-spoken young player said to about 15 boys.

Baker visited each unit in the juvenile hall, and kids got a chance to ask him questions.

One boy asked if he had any advice for, “kids who are broken,” that is, who can’t express their emotions and act out instead.

“Talk your anger out, even if you have to look in the mirror and talk to yourself,” Baker said.

Youth in the facility had anticipated the visit with excitement. With their quarterly Olympiad and physical challenge happening during recreation periods this week, the kids thought the Chargers visit would inspire them.

“As a motivation to us, the students participating in the challenge, the presence of San Diego Chargers players would be greatly appreciated,” one young girl wrote in her letter to the Chargers in October. Kids wrote the letters as a class exercise, and the best letters were forwarded to the team.

KeShawn L., one of the students participating in the challenge said he was excited to get to meet one of the players.

“I want to compete more to try to impress the Chargers,” he said. “Everyone’s been looking forward to this and trying to prepare for this.”

Detainee Shanaria G. said the President’s Fitness Challenge, with several events and rigorous fitness standards, is motivating no matter who is cheering on the sidelines.

 “It gives us an opportunity to push ourselves to our best effort. I hope to gain more strength in myself… …to do stuff I don’t think I can do.”