Former NFL player to host life skills program

Published 7:35 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LaGrange High alum Tyrone Poole won two Super Bowls during his 13-year NFL career. Now, he’s planning to give back to his hometown through a new life skills program.

On Tuesday, the LaGrange Housing Authority went before the City of LaGrange to request that the city offer half the funding needed to bring in Poole to host a seminar for at risk youth. Poole’s life skills program will target at risk youth and will cost a total of $10,000.

The City of LaGrange voted Tuesday to cover the $5,000 of that funding, and the LaGrange Housing Authority being responsible for the other half.

“The program is really designed to reach 10, 11 and 12 year olds who are at risk at a critical age, particularly housing authority residents, but also other residents in the community,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “He proposes to do this — and the housing authority proposes to do this — just before school starts back. It would be a three-day seminar to include both 60 students for two days, as well as a third day for the parents or guardians of the students.”

Poole’s connection to the city played a role in both his offer to host the program in LaGrange at a discounted price and the city’s desire to allow local youth to see a positive example who is from the area.

“Some of you may know Tyrone Poole who grew up in LaGrange and played for LaGrange High School and went on to play for Fort Valley (State University) and then went into the NFL,” Thornton said.

“He was a member of the New England Patriots team and has two Super Bowl championships to show for it.”

Poole actually approached the LaGrange Housing Authority with the idea to host the seminar there, and the housing authority expressed hope that the program will strengthen relationships not only within the LaGrange Housing Authority’s residents, but other county housing authorities as well.

“I think that it is a great program that he came up with, so with that said we are going to have some more kids from outside the housing authority as well,” LaGrange Housing Authority Director of Operations Chad Cooper said. “We are probably also going to try to include West Point since they have a lot of different things going on down there, and by adding them hopefully we can really try to bridge a gap.”

Councilman LeGree McCamey requested that children from Hogansville be considered for the program as well, and the importance of programs for youth approaching middle school age was highlighted in the discussion.

“I think it is really great because that age group is the age group where I understand that the gangs are targeting as well,” Councilman Willie Edmondson said.

Poole has published a book on his success titled, “Ultimate Success in the Game of Life” on his experiences and hosts seminars around the country.

“This is a program that Tyrone has developed and has actually written a book on,” Thornton said. “He has a lot of materials to go along with it, and he — obviously being a two-time Super Bowl champion — is in very high demand, but he’s discounting substantially some of the costs associated with the program. He is eager to do it on a quick basis to try to reach these kids before school starts in August.”

The council approved the funding with one councilmember abstaining from the vote do to being related to Poole.

Poole played for the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans during his NFL career.