The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation wrapped up the pilot year of the Redskins FITT program with an end of year celebration at FedExField.
"You can't make a million dollars on a dollar meal budget."
Over 750 7th graders from DCPS came to celebrate their accomplishments through the FITT program at FedEx Field on May 12, 2017.
This was just one of the many pieces of advice given to students at the Redskins FITT End of Year Celebration on Friday, May 12 at FedExField.
More than 750 District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) 7th grade students attended the culminating event hosted by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation.
Students gathered for a panel discussion that included Redskins tight ends Derek Carrier and Vernon Davis along with Redskins alumnus Josh Wilson (2011-13), Olympic track and field athlete Kellie Brinkley and Nike Fitness Trainer Deanna Robinson. The discussion – which touched on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically and channeling competitiveness into positive outlets among other topics – was led by NBC4 anchor Carol Maloney.
As they took turns answering questions about leading well-balanced lifestyles, each panelist emphasized goal setting as a key to success.
Davis, for example, credits his success to his dietary habits, which he learned at a young age.
"I think for me, it started in 12th grade when I was at Dunbar [High School]," Davis said of when he really began to understand the importance of eating healthy. "I just always said to myself that I want to be the best at everything I do. In order to be the best, you have to prepare like the best. If you think about it, every day you step out of the house and you get ready to prepare and compete, someone else is out there doing the same thing you're doing or more. So I just figured it out early and I just kept going and as time kept going by, I just got better and better with it and it started to work for me."
As for Carrier, his foundation for staying active was his mother, who raised him in a single-parent home along with his brother.
"My mom was very supportive of me and my brothers through the years growing up," Carrier said. "She pushed us not only to be great in school, but in athletics as well. She told us to always strive for our best. You're going to face setbacks, but continue to push through and work for your best."
At the end of the program, Robinson touched on the importance of maintaining good mental health. She explained that obstacles and negativity will arise on the road to success, and advised all students to persevere and stay genuine.
"Ignore it and focus on what your purpose is," Robinson said. "Know what your goals are and meet those goals. Those naysayers kind of just fall to the wayside, because you are on a mission to be great and no one can get in the way of that."
Following the panel discussion, students went through a high intensity group workout led by Robinson, Carrier and Davis, as well as fellow Redskins tight end Niles Paul, wide receiver Ryan Grant and defensive lineman Anthony Lanier II. Students also participated in a kid's hip-hop routine coordinated by NuYou Wellness and yoga cool down led by YoKid.
The celebration concluded the pilot year of the Redskins FITT program – a youth health and wellness initiative – which impacted more than 2,400 students.
"We want to make sure that you and your families are living healthy for a lifetime," said Miriam Kenyon, DCPS Director of Health and Physical Education, while speaking to the audience. "This program was designed to do that. You can create goals, assess your health, make a plan, and implement that plan to become fit for life."
The following schools attended the Redskins FITT End of Year Celebration: Brookland Middle School, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, Eliot-Hine Middle School, Hart Middle School, John Hayden Johnson Middle School, Kelly Miller Middle School, Kramer Middle School, Leckie Education Campus, McKinley Middle School, Oyster-Adams Bilingual, Raymond Education Campus, River Terrace Education Campus, School Without Walls at Francis Stevens, Sousa Middle School, Stuart-Hobson Middle School, Walker-Jones Education Campus, West Education Campus and Wheatley Education Campus.