SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse City School District Building Men Program completed its Building Men Summer Institute programming with an Olympics event designed by Syracuse Football team captain Chris Elmore.
This summer, the students were invited to participate in Building Men programming through a football camp at Roberts Pre-K-8 School, and soccer or basketball camps at Lincoln Middle School.
The camps consisted of academic support in the mornings followed by discussions and team-building activities before athletic activity in the afternoons.
However, when discussing how they could cap off the summer, it was Elmore who suggested speaking with the students about gun violence, as it was something he dealt with growing up in Chicago.
In the afternoon, Elmore, along with other members of the Syracuse Football team, held a discussion with the students about gun violence and the ways they can go about limiting it in their communities.
Joe Horan, the Executive Director of the program says it’s vital to get the student’s perspective, as they are the next generation.
“They’re gonna tell us what they believe the solutions are and what they need to stay safe because who am I to tell them what they need, right?” he asked.
“They are the people that know, I need to hear it from them and I need to go back and say, ‘hey, these are what my boys need, this is what they need to become a man.’ “
He believes too having the football players there to share and talk about their own experiences, adds a level that he and many other adults can’t bring.
“It’s somebody that they can relate to even though he [Elmore] is from a different community and other guys are from a different community they’ve lived some of the same life, they have some of the same dreams.”
“We have some guys here, they really want to play football, they want to play basketball,” Horan said. “And so these are guys that have been in their shoes and they can relate to them.”