Do What You Need To So You Can Do What You Want To

by Reggie Brown 
Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood. Students participated in a field trip to see “State of Deception,” a traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation. – See more at: http://wethepeoplemedia.org/#sthash.rrTNACBW.dpuf

Student athletes at Paul Robeson High School. Photo by Reggie Brown.

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Donoghue Elementary School. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

At Donoghue Elementary School, athletes have to focus in class and, after a hard day in class, work hard on sports teams. School athletes have to focus and do good all day long. If you get in trouble in school, you only get one chance on the team.

“First thing you’re always supposed to do is your homework,” said AJ, a Donoghue athlete. “And do your work or you will get kicked off the basketball team.”

You get a disciplinarian action in class by your teacher, and from your coach. If you choose not to deal with the consequences you will get kicked off the team.

“If you miss more than one assignment, you will miss practices or a game,” AJ said. “If you have more than one tardy you miss practice still.”

A student athlete and her coach at Paul Robeson High School. Photo by Reggie Brown.

 

A punishing exercise called ‘Suicides’ are another consequence. Suicides are when you have to start at the beginning of the gym, run to a certain part of the gym, and run back.

These rules and consequences are important because it helps the student athletes learn their lessons and stay focused in school.

“It’s important because you’re a student athlete and student comes first,” said Garnel, also a Donoghue athlete. “And if you work hard, you can play hard. Respect your parents and turn in all of your homework because if you don’t, you either miss a practice or get kicked of the team.”

It is important to do well in school while you’re on a sports team because otherwise you won’t get to do what you like best, which is playing sports.

“After school, you have something to look forward to instead of nothing, instead of just going home,” Garnel said.

“If you don’t do well in school, your parents won’t approve of you being involved in extracurricular activities. You have to do what you need to do if you’re going to do what you want to do. “

A lot of people in this school agree that it is important to focus in school if you’re on a school team or a team period.“I think it is important to focus in school because if I’m on the team, I need to keep my grades up to stay on the team,” said Sarah Geoghegan. “I try not to get in no beef with nobody and try not to get in trouble with nobody so I can enjoy the rest of the school year.”

“Well, if you’re not focused in school and not doing good in class then you’re not going to be good during sports,” said Jayla Maxwell.

But focusing on school is important even if you aren’t on a team.

“I believe it doesn’t matter what school team you’re on, you should always remain focused in school because you came to learn,” TJ said. “You cannot possibly learn anything if you’re not focused. My moto is ‘My main focus is to remain focused.’”

Donoghue Director Todd Barnett said, “It’s important to focus in school because even the best athletes have to have the best education to be successful.”

It’s important to focus in school because if you are fascinated with sports, then you will be willing to focus in school to keep doing the things you love!

“Because you are a student athlete and the key word is the student is first,” Coach J said. “If you can’t produce in the class, then you definitely can’t produce it on a field or court.”

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