While the Temple football players are full swing into their offseason workouts, they have also been taking breaks on Fridays during the spring semester to spend time mentoring and inspiring students of the Camden Charter School Network.

Drew Katz, a member of the Temple University Board of Trustees and benefactor to Camden’s Charter School Network, promoted the partnership as part of the Rachel & Drew Katz Foundation Community Service Initiative.

The program is to run throughout the spring semester every Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at one of the network’s three schools -- Camden’s Pride, Camden’s Promise Charter School, and Katz Dalsey Academy.

On Friday, nine Temple football players -- quarterback Anthony Russo; running backs Re’Mahn Davis, Onasis Neely, and Mike Mitchell; tight ends David Martin-Robinson, Kaleb Prejean, and Nick Picozzi; and receivers Kadas Reams and Branden Mack -- visited Camden Promise Charter.

The players spent time working with the youngsters in gym class and had lunch with the elementary and middle-school students. Players also talked to the youngsters about the importance of teamwork and respecting each other.

Temple University quarterback Anthony Russo speaks to third-grade students at Camden Promise Charter School about respect. “The way they look up to us puts a smile on my face,” Russo said.
TYGER WILLIAMS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Temple University quarterback Anthony Russo speaks to third-grade students at Camden Promise Charter School about respect. “The way they look up to us puts a smile on my face,” Russo said.

“I like this," said Christa Hahn, principal at Camden’s Pride Charter School. "It’s important for the kids because they feel important that these people are coming in to spend time with them.”

For Russo, who will enter his third season as the Owls starting quarterback, it was his third straight week working with the youngsters.

“Just the atmosphere and smiles the kids have on their faces, the way they look up to us, it is infectious and puts a smile on my face,” he said.

Third-grader Elise Lopez pulls two pins as fellow students and Temple University football running back Re’Mahn Davis, blocks the other team from knocking their pins over at Camden Promise Charter School.
TYGER WILLIAMS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Third-grader Elise Lopez pulls two pins as fellow students and Temple University football running back Re’Mahn Davis, blocks the other team from knocking their pins over at Camden Promise Charter School.

Interacting not only with football players but college students is another benefit of having the players attend, said Bill Helmbrecht, the co-founder of Camden’s Promise Charter School.

“College seems so far away and impossible for many of our students,” Helmbrecht said. “Having the Temple players on our campus, interacting so easily and effectively with our students, it makes the opportunity to go to college both relatable and achievable.”