Osbourn High School in Manassas, Virginia announced on May 17, 2017 The Derrick Pearson Scholarship, to the minority senior who best displays how they currently or will apply the qualities of leadership and spread a positive image in society. As the founder of LovePrints, this is an honor beyond wishes. As the person who has been deemed worthy of a scholarship in their name, I am humbled.
What I would like to do is expand on this idea. I would like to announce that LovePrints would like to create another scholarship (or a few) at different schools around the country, with the same ideals of leadership, positive impact on school, church, and/or community, and a desire to make an positive impact on those around them.
LovePrints will direct proceeds of all merchandise sales from www.loveprints.us, from today until June 30, 2017. There are several items to choose from, and it will allow additional students and schools to get assistance with their college education.
Each item will also help in covering our communities in LovePrints, with a reminder of the good we can do when our hearts and hands work together.
The Mighty Black and Gold! The Black Knights of Arlington, Virginia. A mix of everything and everyone in South Arlington. Black, white, brown, yellow, and every color that exists. All under one black and gold umbrella. If you grew up in Arlington back in the day, you recognized the colors black and gold, and you knew that whoever was wearing them was connected to anyone else that wore them past or present. You might ask their last name to find out what family, just so you could send home a hug or a smile to someone or everyone in that family. You knew their siblings, you knew their neighborhood, and you knew their friends. They knew you. You were a Black Knight.
The Black Knights were about sports, but so much more. The Knights were about each other, and everyone else. They were about the neighborhoods that represented them, and that the Black Knights represented. They were about the families that trusted them with their kids and their well being. They were about standard. The Mighty Black Knights.
They were a fence post in the community. They were a meeting place, a boundary setter, a standard carrier, and they were home. You knew that you could see everyone on any given practice night or game day, and that you could check in and know what was going on while you were away within minutes. You knew who had parents that worked late, who had a big station wagon, who had the best family meals, and who had the best back yard for after practice get togethers. Any parent was everyone’s parent. Any child was everyone’s child. And oh what a wonderful family it was.
The last names were calling cards, business cards, and most definitely, id cards. We all knew the names that led us, coached us, taught us, and loved us. (And pardon me know if I miss a name or family, I would be here all night if I listed everyone. Plus, I am old and my memory is leaking!). You knew the names. They were on the call list (pre email, text, and cell phones). They were on the address list so that parents knew where to drop off those ride-less kids. They needed the home phone numbers because some dear sweet soul would have to call the entire roster if there were practice, game, weather, or game treat updates.
The Kayes. Hunter. Terrell. Glascock. Saunder. Holland. Reid. Blackwell. Goodwin. McKinney. Fox. Ney. Naylor. Taylor. Morris. Peyton. Hunt. Cook. Woody. Hutchinson. Blake. Etal. (Told you, I would forget some. Feel free to add to the list!) These were just some of the names that rang out and stood out in the Black Knights family. These were the folks that followed you home, popped in at school, drove through the neighborhood, and hugged you. That is who the Black Knights were. They were extended family who you grew up with and left a LovePrint on us ALL.
It was football with its coronation from white pants to gold, meaning you had grown up enough to wear the awesome gold game pants, to the spray painting of the black helmets on Friday night so that they were gorgeous and shiny for Saturdays game. It was THE THING. It was Saturday’s at Bluemont Park, TJ, and Yorktown. ALL DAY! Watching each weight class, seeing everyone, following the amazing Black Knight cheerleaders as they SHOWED OUT EVERY WEEK! (Sorry Bearcats cheerleaders, but..). From the team tents with great food and BL gear, to seeing each of Arlington’s team roll through.
It was basketball and its twice a week stops at Swanson. Sitting in the stands and watching the older legends play, catching up with the other teams, and saying high to your friends that played on other squads. (Smaller squad size moved a lot of Knights to other sponsors in basketball season).
Baseball and Softball was amazing. Weeknights and Saturdays at Barcroft, and again, ALL DAY. Every age group, every level, and chasing foul balls and returning them for sno-cones during the day. The Black Knights were an all year family, no matter the sport, season, or reason, you were covered in Black Knights family love forever. And the other teams that partnered up with the Black Knights in South and Central Arlington (Fairlington Mustangs, Red Top Cab, Bauer Studios, Arlington Trust, Real Title, Arlington Cubs, etc), all made for young people who felt like they belonged, mattered, and were connected to something amazing. And they were right.
Decades later, if you want to know what the impact of the Black Knights was, simply ask someone, anyone, who was a part of the family. You can even ask the Hawks, Cubs, Bearcats, Optimist, and anyone who grew up in Arlington. They will smile with love. That is what the Black Knights were about. Love.
Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.
The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”
This idea spawned another: “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry – because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness – without the deleterious effects of drugs?”
“We didn’t say to them, you’re coming in for treatment. We said, we’ll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts.” The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids’ brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.
The results of these surveys were alarming. Nationally, almost 25 per cent were smoking every day, over 40 per cent had got drunk in the past month. But when the team drilled right down into the data, they could identify precisely which schools had the worst problems – and which had the least. Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn’t. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organised activities – especially sport – three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings
Finally, time to sit down and share more details of my LovePrints mentor trip to White House and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. I will try and make it short. I have been working with President Obama’s initiative My Brothers Keeper for the past two years, spawning LovePrints into action. My Brothers Keeper is about helping young people get on track, stay on track, and have support in doing so. For its 2nd anniversary, some of us were invited to the White House to celebrate the work. There would be a Stakeholders meeting and reception, with speakers from the Presidents cabinet, and several financial supporters of the initiative. Also present were mentees, and select mentors. Some spoke. We all shared. We shared stories of why we do what we do, for whom do we do it, and how we do it. As I have said, I am not sure why I got invited. But I was. Now, lets jump to my why I do this. Apparently, this is big. WHY?.
When asked who we do this for, my mind bounced like a ping pong ball in a tight cube. The name that came to mind was one. It was bright and glowing. It was so BOLD AND BRILLIANT. We asked to all call out the name of the person. For me, it was the person that I thought of the entire time I stood in the security line to be cleared to go in. It was the name that made me cry, because I wish that they could be with me. It made me smile because it would make them smile. It would be the person that this would have meant so much to.
It was mom.
To think that her boy was invited here. That her boy had done something, anything, worthy of being here, with Mayors, Govenors, Cabinet Members, and leaders. When the Secretary of Education asks for your thoughts, you probably should answer. Her boy who grew up just a few miles away from this place, who lived in its shadows, but never felt a part of it. Her boy was dressed up, fired up, and ready to go!
And then it hit me. I was there representing not only my mom, but my grandmother, my wife, daughter, family from one end to the other. I was representing Green Valley, Drew, Jackson, Swanson, and W-L. SMBC, JSR, and VCU. Every company that I ever worked for, and dreamed bigger than. Every friend that said that I was something, and those “friends” that thought that I was not. For every coach I ever had, every player that I ever knew, and every friends mom or dad who used their hands to lift, pull, raise, or elevate me. I was there. And proud. we were a part of the process. We were there to add to. We were there to add on.
I got to speak about each and everything and everyone in my previous two paragraphs. And they listened. They asked about mom, and my family, my old neighborhoods, and my new. I was asked about my old schools and new. They asked about my teacher friends, my teachers past, and what they were and want to be. I got to suggest ways to make the helpers happier and the path easier. I got to share your successes, and more importantly, your love. Hopefully, I spoke on your behalf. On your kids behalf. On our kids behalf.
I do not know why I was asked, other than saying that it was because of all of the people that i mentioned. I needed to share them all to these people, because they needed to know them. And they listened. They really did. And wanted to know more. And they shall. Because they asked.
Thank you mom. Thanks all of you. Thanks all of them. You were all there with me. And I sure would not have been there without you. As a matter of fact, I am sure that you were why I was there. Or anywhere else for that matter. Bravo, I applaud YOU.
Coach Pearson White House trip for My Brothers Keeper 2016
Coach Pearson engages student athletes in a Smiles Project that teaches the student core life values and behavior to treat all people with respect. Love is the cornerstone for learning, and to add smiles to your learning and home environment makes learning more pleasant and less stressful.