The young women were greeted by members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Senator Thelma Harper, who was the moderator. The speaking engagement was a reward in many ways for the young women, who are from the Nashville area and range in age from 15-18.
New Visions provides a second chance for their young women. While the programs take place in a secure building, New Visions aims to provide a warm environment that focuses on meeting their young women's physical, mental and emotional needs and aim to re-unify them with their families and society.
The young women were not aware that Kearse was going to speak to them at this engagement and were excited and emotional upon his introduction.
"They were totally surprised," said Superintendent Dr. Keisha Bean. "Most of these girls have not had a chance to meet someone famous, or may never again. This was very special," she said.
Kearse, who was introduced by Executive Vice President of Administration and Facilities Don McLachlan, was able to share his testimony to the youth, many whom came from similar backgrounds, about how football helped him through a difficult childhood and motivated him to get an education.
"Jevon spoke about making good decisions. Despite what his situation may have been growing up, he put education first," Dr. Bean said. "He told them not to dwell on their mistakes, but to move on."
Tuggle, who also spoke to the youths, provided advice to the young women about their future.
"I want you all to think about what you can do to prepare to be who you want to be, Tuggle said. "If you continue to prepare, when the opportunities show themselves, you can be whatever it is you choose to be in life."
Dr. Bean expressed what the most rewarding part about the engagement was to her.
"I was rewarded to see the reaction of the girls," she began. "Jevon remembered many of, and addressed them by their names when they asked questions. They were amazed by that; they didn't want to leave, even after he was finished speaking."