Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is leading local efforts on behalf of the United Way of Northeast Florida to recruit volunteers to help improve student achievement in the greater Jacksonville community, as part of the United Way TEAM NFL initiative to recruit 99,000 volunteer readers, tutors and mentors nationwide.
In addition to recruiting volunteers, Shorts has become a mentor to students at Eugene Butler Middle School. On Tuesday, October 1, Shorts III was joined by teammate Justin Forsett at the school as they spoke to a group of students about decision-making. These young men participate in Achievers for Life, a proven United Way initiative focused on increasing graduation rates.
Since 2007, nearly 3,500 sixth-grade students were paired with mentors and received family counseling services through Achievers for Life. Ninety-seven percent of the participants were promoted to seventh grade and experienced double digit increases in grade point averages and attendance.
On Tuesday, Shorts and Forsett discussed the difference between making good and bad decisions, goal setting and different ways to achieve the goals. Shorts and Forsett plan on visiting the Eugene Butler Achievers for Life participants at least once per month to encourage the students to make positive choices that will help them be successful in school and beyond.
If you would like to become a mentor or volunteer you can help Cecil Shorts III by logging on to www.unitedway.org/teamshorts.