Former Pro Athletes Have An Impact On Gautier Students

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Breaking bricks, bats, and tearing phone books in half are not the usual lessons at Gautier Middle School. Friday, dozens of students took a break from the books and were amazed by Team Impact - a group of former professional and collegiate athletes on a mission to promote strength, hope, and education.

Several students said it was one of the best and most exciting Friday programs they have ever attended.

Team Impact Member and former college football standout CJ Arocha kept the young crowd entertained and amazed with his high energy and amazing strength.

"I thought it was fun, and the stuff that he did was pretty wired," student Reagan Ivy said.

Showing off power and strength wasn't Arocha's main focus, his goal was to convey a message of persistence and perseverance to every student in the audience.

"I want to challenge you guys to do the right thing. Surround yourself with dream makers. You are not born a winner or a loser, you are all born choosers," Arocha said.

The football player says he still vividly remembers the days when he was pressured to skip class, do drugs and drink alcohol. Now, Arocha wants to positively impact young people so they will make good choices and stay in school.

"One thing I find out, it is not just being good on the football field that will get you that scholarship. They look at your grades, and they look at your GPA, and how committed you are to your studies. Have a good foundation in your life so you can become someone greater."

As these kids continue on their educational journey, Team Impact hopes they will be dream makers not dream takers.

"They have all the tools and abilities the need to achieve what they want to achieve. By making good choices and good decisions, they will do it."

Team Impact will be performing at First Baptist Church In Gautier this weekend. The event starts at 7pm nightly and is free of charge.