Velasco Visits Students at Head Middle Magnet School


By Krysten Call, Titans Online

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans starting Center Fernando Velasco surprised students and faculty at Head Middle Magnet School on Tuesday as part of the Titans Tuesdays school program.


Velasco was the honorary guest at a special school-wide assembly to encourage the youth, assert the significance of healthy eating and exercising, and to share some stories from his life as a student.

The school was provided with interactive information about the Titans PLAY 60 and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs as well as some additional fun ways to get outdoors and exercise with Titans partners Tennessee State Parks, the American Heart Association and the Southeast Dairy Association.

Head students were illuminated as Velasco reflected on his time in middle school. He recalled that his favorite subject was math and that he was less interested in reading until he got involved in the accelerated reading program where he set goals to achieve as he challenged himself in reading. He spoke about the value of education and urged the students to make school and homework a priority each day to set the foundation for success in the future. To illustrate this point, Velasco highlighted that he studies hours and hours each day in preparation for each game. Even as a professional athlete, this Titan knows to study hard and make good choices in order to be the best both on and off the field.

During the assembly, Velasco also explained why being physically active for at least 60 minutes a day is important. He mentioned that when he was a kid, playing video games was the last resort activity, set aside for cold or rainy days. He would much rather have been outside playing than sitting around inside.  Velasco also stressed, in addition to leading an active lifestyle, everyone should fuel up with a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

After the assembly, an exclusive group of students were chosen by the school for their leadership, grades and behavior to spend additional time with Velasco for a meet and greet opportunity. At first, the students were apprehensive about questioning Velasco; however, he advocated that the only foolish question is one unasked. Soon there were many questions and discussion about Velasco's life as a team captain in high school and college as well as some questions about the game spotlight.

The students were each given an autographed Titans PLAY 60 folder to take home. School board leaders, counselors and the school's administrators were very encouraged to hear Velasco speak about respecting people in authority positions because it is the right thing to do.

As the Titans Tuesday school program continues to visit schools in the community, the Titans aim to expose the youth to great programs that could impact each student in a positive way. The Titans players help with this effort through inspiration and motivation with their individual stories and advice for the students.

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