I am Now Rooting For The Under Dog Ravens In The Super Bowl....
With Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Bound, New Rochelle’s Ray Rice Bringing Joy to Port Chester Teen
When the Baltimore Ravens face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday in New Orleans, Port Chester, NY teen Odele Alexander Jr., 17, will be watching with special interest after a phone call from Ravens All-Pro Ray Rice, a call that changed his life.
Odele's story has been described as "complicated". He grew up in a difficult family situation. He lived most of his life under foster care through the Westchester County Department of Social Services (WCDSS).
O'D, as he is known to his friends, has long considered Rice a source of hope and inspiration.
WCDSS staff speak glowingly of O'D. They know him as a young man who has persevered over tough odds, searching deep within himself and remained positive, optimistic and upbeat.
O'D's personal motto is "I live for today, Can’t worry about yesterday.”
O'D has put a lot of that positive energy into football. As a youth he played in the Pop Warner League in Port Chester, NY. Football became his passion and outlet. He loves being part of a team and the sportsmanship that comes with it. As he grew older, O'D settled on playing running back like Rice. He joined the Port Chester High School football team where he plays running back for the Rams. He dreams of following in Rice's footsteps and playing in the NFL someday.
Last fall O'D suffered a tremendous personal loss. Leslie Farucci, his WCDSS caseworker, soon after noticed a change in O'D. His normal enthusiasm just wan't there. She became worried.
Farucci works in the WCDSS Foster Care and Preventative Services Unit in White Plains, NY. She has worked in the foster care system protecting kids for more than 20 years.
"I have known O'D for a long time," Farucci says. "I want to do everything I can to give this kid an opportunity to succeed in life."
She sensed O'D was losing direction and focus. She knew he needed something to help him stay motivated and on track. She wanted to give O'D a special “once in a lifetime” experience. She was looking for a miracle.
She discussed the situation with John Eforo, her Supervisor at WCDSS. Eforo was also close to O'D. Farucci and Eforo came up with a plan; find a way to give O'D something he would never forget, a chance to speak with his idol. They became determined to make it happen.
They both realized that O'D admired Rice not just as a great player but for what Rice had been through in his own childhood and how Rice had persevered and eventually triumphed.
Rice had his own struggles growing up in New Rochelle, NY. Rice's father was shot and killed when Ray was just one year old. Ray's cousin was close to Ray and mentored him but when Ray was 12 his cousin was killed by a drunk driver. Ray's mother raised four children as a single-parent......
Read The Rest Of The Story At The Link Below...
via Port Chester Newswire http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/baltimore-ravens-super-bowl-bound-new-rochelle%E2%80%99s-ray-rice-bringing-joy-local-teen?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewRochellesTalkOfTheSoundBlogs+%28Most+Recent+Blog+Posts%29