Players on this football team often face hard times. Here's how their coaches are helping.
True
The CW's All American

Neil Prescot didn't have the easiest time growing up.

His mom, Tia, raised him as a single parent, and they often struggled to make ends meet. They had to pack up and move pretty regularly, which left Neil without a stable sense of home.

Thankfully, when his home life situation became difficult, he had friends from the football team step up and offer him what they could.


“I didn’t really know much about Neil’s situation, but I just knew he needed a place to stay," says Edgar Geurrero, one of Neil's friends. “He’s pretty much family to me. He’s another brother.”

Edgar (left) and Neil (right) at Edgar's house. All photos via Upworthy.

And Neil's far from the only athlete at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Maryland who's experienced tough times like this. Coach Kim is all too familiar with these types of stories.

“I’ve had a kid evicted the night before a game," Kim says. "I think about that, and god, that’s heartbreaking." Kim would often wonder if his players were food insecure, or afraid their family wasn't going to make rent. He knows it can't be easy not to know where you're going to live the next week.

However, Neil rarely alludes to the issues that he's facing. When he's at practice, he's there to play football, probably because it's a welcome respite from everything else.

On the team, Neil's a linebacker on defense and a kicker with special teams, but he's also someone the other players look up to. He's a leader.

"His teammates really do watch him, and those who do know his story really take him to heart," says Bryn Crower, one of the team's athletic trainers.

Neil (center) with his teammates.

But football hasn't just made him a leader among his teammates. Neil's learning the importance of giving back to the community thanks to his coaches.

Coach McCabe does motivational workshops with the team every Wednesday, and coach Ali's been getting the players involved with coat drives and other community service activities. It's all to help remind them that they can make a huge impact if they just try a little harder and give a bit more.

“We try to help the community as much as we can," says Neil.

These endeavors also help unify the team. It's such a comforting environment for kids like Neil who may not have the same experiences at home.

And through it all, they have coaches and teachers who root for them as if they were their own kids.

"He’s an awesome kid, he really is," says Crower about Neil. "And I hope everybody here takes a little piece of Neil and just keeps it close to their heart, and they can grow and try to be like him as well."

To learn more about Neil's story, check out this clip:

True leadership on and off the field

Despite the hardships he's faced throughout his life, this student-athlete is a role model for his teammates and his entire community.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, October 4, 2018
True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less