As described in the team’s “Player Handbook,” a core component of the JFK football program includes athletes learning “important life skills, work ethic, and dedication to achieve their full potential in all future endeavors so that they will be models of professionalism within our community.”
In order to prioritize both the physical and social-emotional wellness of our student athletes as a recognized DPS Whole Child Distinguished school, the JFK Football Program will be piloting a new mental health and wellness program.
All football players, including coaching staff, will participate in weekly wellness classes, led by Annie Walden-Newman, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who serves as one of JFK’s school social workers. This program aligns with various college and NFL initiatives that work to increase access to care and decrease stigma around mental health and wellness. For more information about this programming, please contact Coach Laguardia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A core component of the mental health & wellness initiative will be to feature a variety of keynote speakers who, as former players or coaching staff involved in football programs, can serve as mentors for our student athletes. Please find below more information regarding the featured speakers.
Austin Hinton currently lives in New York City where serves as a Media Production Specialist for ABC-Disney. Prior to ABC, Austin was employed at NBC Sports where he received two Emmy Awards for his work during the XXII Olympic Winter Games. Austin attended Penn State University where he won three Bowl championships as part of the premiere Division I Penn State football team. During his high school career, Austin was an All-American Rivals 100. In his spare time, Austin volunteers as a mentor through the iMentor Program of NYC, including serving on their Mentoring Young Men of Color panel. He is also actively involved in the Penn State alumni program, and was featured in their March 2019 edition of Penn State News.
Amy Tedoff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) serving JFK students as a school-based therapist through the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) since 2015. Amy provides mental health screening/assessments, and provides ongoing therapy to students with diagnosed mental health needs. In addition to therapy, Amy facilitates a variety of student support groups, including a grief group, Voz y Corazon art group, and Dreamers group for students who recently immigrated to the United States. Amy originally grew up in New Jersey, spent two years working in Brooklyn at an HIV clinic after college, and moved to Denver to pursue her Master’s of Social Work.
Charleston Hughes currently plays professional football as a defensive lineman for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the national Canadian Football League (CFL). He was originally signed by the Calgary Stampeders where he was part of the team that won the 2008 and 2014 Grey Cup championship (the Canadian equivalent to the Superbowl). Charleston is a five time CFL All-Star, seven-time division All-Star, and had previously been named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2013. Prior to joining the CFL, he briefly played for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). Charleston is originally from Saginaw, Michigan and attended Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.
Derek McCoy, Prevention Director Project PAVE
Derek McCoy, PAVE’s Prevention Director, is a former collegiate & professional football player who turned his focus to being a part of transforming the narrative around what it means to “Be A Man,” in an effort to help boys and young men develop the skills needed to be their true selves.
Jalen Love, Violence Prevention Specialist Project PAVE
Jalen Love currently lives in Denver where he serves as a Violence Prevention Specialist for Project PAVE. Prior to PAVE he worked for a national non-profit, Jobs for America’s Graduates. Jalen worked for the Kansas affiliate of JAG, and it was there he did classroom instruction in the areas of job readiness, employability skills, career development using project-based learning practices. Jalen also supported students through Trauma Informed Care initiatives both to those in his program and throughout the school. Jalen attended the University of Denver and was a member of the basketball team where he won a regular season championship in his freshmen campaign and helped Denver win their first post-season victory in school history. After Jalen’s three-year stint at Denver, Jalen transferred to Newman University in Wichita, Kansas where he continued his success on the basketball court and helped the Jets make the playoffs and secure their first post-season victor. Jalen received both his undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism and his Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Newman University. In his spare time, Jalen enjoys coaching youth basketball and volunteering for “Ready to Impact”, a program in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.