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Former NFL Player Motivates Students to 'Keep Pushing'

March 31, 2023  

"It doesn't matter how hard things get," said Lucas Simmons, a sixth grader at South View Middle School. "I've got to keep on going and not stop no matter how tough things are."


Lucas' sentiment echoes that of hundreds of Cumberland County Schools (CCS) students and parents after recently getting the chance to hear former NFL player Keith Davis and former college football player Germard Reed. During a two-day visit, both zig-zagged across the district, visiting middle schools and sharing a message of hope by encouraging students to make good decisions and overcome challenges that keep them from reaching their goals.


On Thursday evening at Lewis Chapel Middle School, the pair engaged a gymnasium filled with more than 150 people during the session which was titled "P.U.S.H. (Persevere Until Success Happens): An Evening of Motivation with Keith Davis." He shared seeds of wisdom with the audience throughout the interactive presentation. 


"You were not born a winner or a loser, you were born a chooser."


"We all have a heart that desires something great."


"You don't have to be great to get started. You just need to get started to be great."


"People may be able to measure you academically, but they can never measure your dreams."


Parents also got words of wisdom from Davis' session.


"I think that Mr. Davis gave us, as parents, some really good information about being involved and engaged in our child's education and life," said Luz Martinez, who brought both of her sons. "It is important for our kids to know that they can overcome and I'm glad Cumberland County Schools brought the two gentlemen to speak to us."


To see photos from the sessions, click here.


Keith Davis' Background

Davis is a former college and professional football player who has learned many lessons about winning and losing over the course of his life. Not only did he have a very tough childhood but he also struggled academically, as he persevered to overcome his remedial reading problems as a high school student. Yet, through intense hard work and much-needed help, he eventually overcame those challenges.