Bryce is an 18 year old football player at Dekalb High School. He doesn’t enjoy football, but continues to play in order to please his parents. He has not seen playing time in all four years he has been a part of the team. Bryce lacks passion for the sport, therefore he is not very invested in getting to know his teammates. Ultimately, this results in him coming to practice everyday, saying hi to no one, and standing by himself on the sideline for two hours.
When Bryce and I first met, it was clear he was someone who needed time and attention. Everyday at football practice I made it a priority to talk to Bryce. I wanted him to feel seen, known and loved. These conversations were always far from the topic of football, but caring and loving others in the name of Jesus is far more important than any sport. I got to know Bryce by simply listening. Sadly, Bryce doesn’t have many people in his life who are willing to sit and listen to him.
Since arriving in Dekalb, it’s become apparent there are many teens in the same boat as Bryce. Young people who feel unknown, unheard, and ultimately trapped because no one really knows who they are and what they actually desire and need. In Dekalb, we need leaders who are willing to listen. Listen to the stories of young people who have not felt able to speak before. People are impacted by leaders who step in and listen. As we seek to show up for the young people in our community, and take up a posture of listening, together we will see transformation at Dekalb High School.
– Danny Goff, DeKalb High School Campus Life Director