When it comes to virtual life coaching, Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver Chris Conley and Cheerleader LaKeyna have it covered.
The duo spoke with nearly 400 kids at six local schools via virtual uplink on Monday as part of the NFL’s Character Playbook LIVE initiative, which strives to equip young people with the tools they need to establish healthy relationships.
It marked the second time that Conley and LaKeyna found themselves in classrooms throughout Kansas City, as the pair teamed up for a similar endeavor last September.
“I think that our society has so many different pressures that fall upon our youth, and it starts at a very young age,” LaKeyna said. “The more that we can get out in front of it and teach them how to be the best person that they can be – that’s something that I definitely want to be a part of.”
Those pressures are compounded by the existence of social media, which presents new problems for today’s youth on a daily basis.
“As things change, we can’t do anything about how technology and social media advance, but we can control how we deal with people in the world,” Conley said. “If we continue to approach it the way we used to - loving our neighbors – and we do that through these new platforms, then things will be alright. That’s what we’re trying to convey to these kids, because they’re encountering these things at such a young age.”
The league-wide Character Playbook LIVE initiative, which is presented in partnership with United Way, takes advantage of that technology to engage kids in the conversation of why character matters.
Conley and LaKeyna’s efforts on Monday brought that conversation to hundreds of kids that may not have heard it otherwise.
“I can remember when I was sitting in that seat listening to somebody I looked up to before I knew what I was going to do in the world,” Conley said. “I think it’s important to give back and to let these people know that we’re human and have experiences just like anybody else, we just have a job that’s a little bit different on the weekends.”
To learn more about the Character Playbook program, visit its website.