As a former student athlete, CEO and founder of Student Athletes for Educational Opportunities (SAFEO), Inc, my primary vision for launching SAFEO was to provide a platform for young student athletes to voice their opinion about issues that concerns themselves and their parents.
Coming up in the 80’s and 90’s as an athlete we didn’t have the social media available to obtain information like you do today. I remember when Rudy Washington, who at the time was the president of the Black Coaches Association asked me to join a panel of coaches to talk about the goals of SAFEO. Little did I know that I would be on stage with great sports minds like the legendary John Thompson, Digger Phelps, Nolan Richards and Dr. Richard Lapchick. During the conference I learned a vast amount of knowledge from these guys, however what stood out the most and had a life long affect on me was when coach Thompson stood up in a demanding gesture to the panel and said “we must teach our young athletes that education is not power, information is power”.
Today those sentiments are the cornerstone objectives for which SAFEO pledges its dedication to helping our young student athletes to succeed. To provide them with the best educational, career and health tools that will build character and prepare them for life after the ball stops bouncing. Therefore, we are committed to continue to engage all athletes in a number of educational, health and fitness programs particularly those in the inner city, targeting low income, underserved young athletes and their parents.
Racial and ethnic low income populations are the last to learn about or receive services to reverse inferior educational opportunities, poor health, nutrition, and lack of exercise that plague them, and our experience has been that not only do they, themselves, seek a higher quality of life, but also are eager to directly participate in improving their well-being. They simply need just as coach Thompson prescribed “Information access”
At SAFEO, we made a specific decision to promote the importance of health, fitness, and now our “I Promise” concussion awareness campaign as an issue targeting inner city young athletes as part of our branded messaging to increase:
- Raise Awareness
- Promote Safety
- Advance Healthy Eating Habits
- Reverse Obesity and Overweight Through Fitness
So join me and my dedicated staff, volunteers, interns and devoted corporate and non-profit partners as we move to shape the lives of our young athletes. Become a member today!
All The Best,
J. Laffeyette “Coach” Carter
CEO & Founder