You could say it was Kevin Charlton’s calling to become a youth football coach to disadvantaged children. A former football player himself, Kevin’s first round of coaching started at age 27. After taking a break, he felt a pull a few years ago to go back—only his nightshift schedule prevented him from making it happen. So Kevin tapped into his spiritual side, resolving that if his work hours changed, it would be a sign to start coaching again. One month later, he got switched from nights to days.
Kevin quickly found a position in Lauderhill, on a league filled with discipline-challenged children, where football is often the only thing keeping them off the streets. Kevin coaches the kids on their passes and plays, but he also strives to be their “life coach,” serving as a role model and mentor. Having a hard and fast rule that schoolwork comes first, he asks the parents for their help off the field—a request that often goes both ways. One afternoon during a City Furniture shift, he got a call that one of his players was in the principal’s office for acting out in class. Kevin headed down to the school and gave the child a few stern warnings, followed by some motivation to seek a better path in life. His lecture made a breakthrough, and today that young athlete is in college on a football scholarship.
And while he’s aware he can’t save them all, he says, “I can’t worry about the things I can’t change; I put my faith and my trust in God, and I try to make a positive impact in life.”