(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA) November 7, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: It was a very hot Indian Summer type of L.A. day, and a little windy on that Tuesday afternoon, September 21st, when, and in conjunction with their observance of National Latino Heritage Month, the NFL’s L.A. Rams and their Corporate Community Relations team, visited the campus of the Roosevelt Rough Riders. The reason was the renewed unveiling of their special outreach project, called “Cleats For Character.“
The Rams designated Roosevelt to receive their first school donation for the Cleats For Character program. They made an extremely generous donation of over (60) pairs of NIKE cleats to Head Coach Aldo Parral for his Varsity and JV teams. All cleats, remarkably still brand new in looks and appearances, had only been recently used by Rams players during designated team workout activities. We will bring you that “Exclusive” story in this production of that special event.
Briefly speaking, this was the second recognition of East Los Angeles-based schools, with the first, highlighted back in July, 2021, when they recognized Head Coach Lorenzo Hernandez of Garfield as their selected 2020 Coach of the Year. This time, they spread the love very graciously by recognizing Roosevelt with this kind and meaningful gesture to its dedicated, young student-athletes.
The event started with Johnathan Franklin, the Rams Director of Social Justice & Football Development, who is also a former Dorsey HS player, a UCLA All-American running back, making his opening remarks.
That was followed by his Guest Speaker, the Rams Punter-Placekicking Legend, and a different era UCLA All-American, Frank Corral. They addressed the varsity team and Coaches in front of Roosevelt’s brand new State-of-the-Art Gymnasium/Sports Complex.
To view the entire program and the interviews with Frank Corral, Johnathan Franklin, and Head Coach Aldo Parral, please click on our YouTube Channel link. To view our video, please click below.
(Background on Cleats For Character): The Rams introduced the Cleats for Character program in 2017. Over the past four years, the team has impacted more than 2,500 student-athletes from over 120 different schools throughout Los Angeles through the Cleats for Character program. In 2020, the Rams Legend Brandon Manumaluena, Johnathan Franklin, and Rams Cheerleaders hosted an all-school assembly at David Starr Jordan High School and spoke to students about their career journeys and times when they demonstrated perseverance. In 2018, the team took the Cleats for Character program to the Ventura County Youth Detention Center, where current players and Rams Legends led group discussions and hosted a football clinic.
Special guests invited by the Rams to speak at this program always address the school’s varsity football team and other student athletes. They also lead “open” discussions about career planning, character development, and highlight the transferable life skills gained through teamwork.