By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Sept. 29, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO – Former San Francisco 49er quarterback and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Joe Montana made a visit to the South of Market in San Francisco to speak with at-risk youth and kids about staying on the right path and making smart decisions.
Montana was joined by tech giant Ron Conway as they shared their stories at the United Playaz headquarters to motivate the children to work hard and achieve their dreams.
“I think it’s just a wonderful opportunity for you,” said the Hall of Famer. “There’s all kinds of crazy things that go on outside building and this is like a family to you. You should use every chance you can to ask questions and try to find ways to better yourself. … I had a lot of fun playing football, but to me the most joy comes from when you help someone and you see that person go on to be successful, and no matter how small the things can be or how big it is they’re looking for a direction, and you guys can be the key to that.”
“There’s a lot of challenges out here, and it’s very rare anyone makes it out of the hood,” said Rudy Corpus, founder of the United Playaz center. “So this right here should be something inspiring, encouraging, and letting people know you can do it. It doesn’t matter what economical background you come from, what nationality you are. You can make it as long as you work hard and dedicate and commit yourself to being the best person you can be.”
United Playaz services the young, diverse children of the SMA – including many Filipino children.
The children say they learned a lot from Montana’s speech.
“It helps the community because there’s lots of murders and hit and runs,” said Antonio Yap. “So he’s telling people not to do those kinds of stuff and just to be peaceful.”
“I felt pretty motivated,” said AJ Janson Santiago. “I thought his speech was inspiring. He let me know I could do anything I want to do.”
Corpuz says he enjoys seeing successful adults come by and spend time with the children because it will help them in the future.
“I just want to say we’re very thankful and honored that anybody wants to come out and share with some of the kids, inspire them, and give them stories that would make them better people in life,” said Rudy, “We challenge you to come speak to the kids in the South of Market.”