Steeler goes to Washington

Published 8:44 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forest Glen student Raemaad Wright, center, has been accepted into the 2011 People to People World Leadership Forum from Sept. 26-Oct. 1 in Washington D.C. The forum brings outstanding middle school students from around the world together. The Suffolk Steeler midget football team is trying to raise donations for Wright. With Wright are, from left, his mother, Bernice Foster, and Steeler coaches Bryon Parson, Maurice Whitehead and Kevin Shepherd Sr.

Midget football team looks to raise money for player’s trip

Raemaad Wright isn’t currently a football player for the Suffolk Steelers, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a Steeler.

Wright is an honor roll student at Forest Glen Middle School and has been accepted into the 2011 People to People World Leadership Forum, an extraordinary six-day tour of Washington, D.C., Jamestown and Williamsburg headlined by keynote speaker Gen. Colin Powell.

Forest Glen math teacher Bob Lippiatt nominated Wright for “outstanding scholastic merit, leadership potential and exemplary citizenship.”

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The forum, set for Sept. 26-Oct. 1, brings fifth- to eighth-graders from around the world to see America’s centers of justice, legislation and history, listen to prominent leaders and make friends within the group.

The Steeler midget football team is coming into play this summer, trying to raise donations for Wright’s tuition and trip.

“We’re just trying to help, to see if we can get some people to sponsor Raemaad,” said head coach Kevin Shepherd Sr.

“He’s a former player, so he’s a Steeler. Our association (the Inner City Athletic Association) is about more than football,” Shepherd said.

The time the forum spends in the nation’s capital includes visits to the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian museums and war memorials. Students will be invited to the Capitol for a discussion with members of Congress.

Powell will speak to the group about his experiences as a military and diplomatic leader and his experience with world leaders on the last day of the Forum.

Powell served two tours in Vietnam, was National Security Adviser for Ronald Reagan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State for George W. Bush.

Time each day is set aside for lessons, meetings and talks amongst the students aimed at leadership development and academic challenges.

One day will include a field trip to Virginia’s first capital, Jamestown, and second capital, Williamsburg.

Most of the six days will be spent in important discussions and great educational opportunities, but the kids will have a dinner sampling international cuisine at a foreign embassy and conclude the last evening in Washington with a dinner and dance cruise on the Potomac River.

People to People was founded in 1956 by Dwight D. Eisenhower. All eight presidents since Eisenhower were or are honorary chairmen.

The Steeler midget coaching staff, with Maurice Whitehead, Bryon Parson, William Turner, Jason Scott and Travis Young along with Shepherd and Raemaad’s mother Bernice Foster, are heading up the sponsorship efforts. The due date for donations is Sept. 6.

For more information or to donate, contact Shepherd at 419-0168 or Foster at 372-6972.