By: Austin Moss
On Wednesday May 7th the NFL Player Engagement Department partnered with Why Not Sports to host its 4th annual NFL Draft Sports Career Expo at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College. The program set a record attendance with 515 male and female high school student athletes from 11 high schools across the New York City Metro area.
The program, held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., began with an inspirational Hip Hop session with Saul Paul and a Welcome from NFL Player Engagement Vice President of Strategic Development & Operations, Kimberly Fields. The next portion of the morning session featured a college student-athlete panel discussion with two football student athletes from Columbia University and a tennis and softball student athlete from John Jay College. These students shared valuable insight on their daily schedule as a college student athletes and the skills they’ve acquired during their academic and athletic experience. The panel concluded with a discussion on NCAA Eligibility Requirements (New Rules vs. Old Rules) and an encouraging closing by moderator Ron Brewer challenging students to take ownership of their future and find out the exact requirements you need to get into college.
The afternoon featured a “You Make the Call” Session from NFL Officiating staffers Terrel Canton, Vanessa Streater, and current NFL Player Chris Crocker. The session educated students on the various career opportunities in the world of officiating and gave select students a chance to stand in the shoes of an NFL official and make the call on debatable plays. The expo concluded with a “Bossing off the Field” Sports Professionals Panel. The panel featured Philadelphia Eagles Director of Player Engagement, Marcus Sedberry, John Jay Associate Athletic Director Catharine Alves and NFL Legends George Hegamin, David Tyree, and Patrick Kerney. Some of the main takeaways from the panel discussion were:
- Get informed and educated on what is required to be successful through the advanced technology that is readily available at your fingertips
- Focus on your academic success; it will take you further in life than your athletic abilities
- Identify your passion/interest in life and set SMART goals to pursue and achieve them
- Build your network now! Don’t be afraid to get out and meet professionals or your peers. You never know what opportunities it may lead to.
- Find interest in other areas of sport outside of the playing field. Think about careers Officiating, Sponsorship, Business Development, Consumer Products, Fan Marketing Strategy, Premium Sales, etc. that will allow you to stay connected to the game you love well beyond your playing years.
The program provided another valuable opportunity for students to learn about careers in sport outside of the playing field and foster ideas about college and professional aspirations. Below you will find a list of the schools that attended.
HIGH SCHOOLS ATTENDING: 11
New York City Public Schools/Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL)
1. Curtis HS
2. Abraham Lincoln
3. Business School of Sports
4. Flushing High School
5. Jamaica High School
6. Martin Luther King, Jr.
7. Erasmus High School
8. Midwood High School
9. School of Sports Management
10. Petrides High School
11. Susan Wagner High School