Miami Dolphins Launch Event Recap

Despite the blue skies and beautiful weather, January 20, 2017 was anything but a typical day at Deerfield Beach Middle School. Dolphins players Rashawn Scott and Kenny Stills and alumni Troy Drayton, along with select members of the Dolphins cheerleading squad joined United Way of Broward County to celebrate the launch of the Character Playbook program in the Broward County Public Schools. The day kicked off with a classroom visit where Dolphins athletes joined students at their computers as they explored the Character Playbook program for the first time. The students were extremely engaged as their Dolphins heroes pulled up a seat at their desk and inquired about the real life situations reflected in the Character Playbook program. One of the students confided in Kenny Stills about his own anger issues and was encouraged by Stills who shared, “when you learn how to deal with your anger and how to deal with being sad, those things will really help propel you and help you focus on your studies as well.”

Next, the Character conversation moved down the hall to the cafeteria for a school wide assembly. As each athlete emerged from the larger than life Dolphins inflatable helmet, he was introduced to a cheering crowd of over 500 students and teachers, school district and city officials. The players and students conducted a thoughtful question and answer period with the Dolphins players recalling memories of their own journey to Character, sharing insights and personal anecdotes about what they would have done differently had they had the opportunity to learn from the Character Playbook program as a middle schooler. After this spirited panel discussion, the room erupted into a Fins Frenzy led by T.D., the Miami Dolphins mascot, complete with a dance competition between students and Dolphins players. “The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment,” Dolphins Senior Director of Youth Programs Twan Russell said. “Programs like the one today launched with United Way and EverFi assist in preparing the next generation of leaders in character development.”