Former pro linebacker hopes to start boys’ mentoring program

Editor's note: This story was written as a part of the Observer's Explorer Post program, which gives high school students the chance to learn about journalism.

In the words of Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

That's what retired Green Bay Packers linebacker Jermaine Smith shows: change. Smith plans on starting a boys’ mentoring program in Charlotte.

In a recent interview Smith said the name of his program is T.A.P.S., which stands for Teaching Adolescence Plans for Success. Smith said his motivation for the program helping young men becoming better.

Smith said the program’s progress is currently at a slow state, but he plans on working with several AAU football teams to do some mentoring there first to get his program more exposure. Smith said his program will serve all ages, from small children all the way up to full grown men.

Cynthia Smith, his wife, said, “Jermaine feels that if you keep constant focus on that child then they have a better chance at success.” Smith plans to mentor the young men on manhood, giving them life lessons.

Smith says that he will have help from former teammates, current business associates and several volunteers, including his son, Jordan Smith.

“I think my dad will make a huge impact in the lives of these boys," Jordan Smith said.

Smith said that for every one adult there will be 10 mentees. Smith said there are two messages he hopes to get children to learn. The first is that “sports is a teacher of life,” and second, that “life has many options.”