We Are Brooklyn Tech Football – Part 2 – Servant Leadership and Community Service

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Brooklyn Tech football players perform over 16 hours of community service and undergo extensive training in leadership.

Brooklyn Tech football is committed to creating servant leaders through our leadership curriculum, extensive community service, and peer and alumni mentoring.

The “Servant Leader”, as originally coined by Robert Greenleaf in an essay written in 1970, calls for leaders to serve first and consistently look to uplift the others around them. Greenleaf saw it like this:

“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.” 

“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.”

The awards ceremony at our annual Punt, Pass and Kick contest for local youth.

In our football program, we take steps to cultivate the tenets of this servant-first mentality.  We start our off-season with our Vesting Program, which runs from January through April 1st.  The program consists of players completing a number of required tasks that include 120 hours of strength & conditioning, 4 hours of required community service, a leadership seminar, and film study.  At the conclusion of the “Vesting Period”, our leadership council meets to evaluate the application of players for vesting.  The players are either vested into the program, placed on probation, or cut from the team.  Those that are “Vested” receive a patch to wear on their jersey for the season. This program allows us to know that they are committed to continuing on the journey to becoming servant leaders.

The Elite and Vesting patches given to players that fulfill the requirements of our offseason program.

Our leadership seminar consists of curricula from Bruce Brown’s Proactive Coaching pamphlets.

We feel that Coach Brown’s concepts on competing, leading and behavior match the profile of what we want our players to become.  Their community service is required, but their commitment usually leads to service that goes far beyond the requirement.  We give the players the opportunity to then be “Elevated” by displaying behavior that goes over and above the requirements – they are then eligible for “Elite” status and they are presented with another patch that they can display on their jersey.

Tristan Brown (Tech 2014, Ithaca 2018) was both a Vested and Elite football player.

It is our hope that these leadership qualities will build a superior team that holds each player and coach accountable.  It produces people of character that act selfless and are committed to working not only for the benefit of the team, but also the community they come from. We take part in team community service that includes interaction with youth groups, charitable organizations and neighborhood tutoring programs.

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Brooklyn Tech students volunteering with the American Cancer Society.

Our commitment to cultivating these leaders is seen in the alumni that come out of our program.  Our young alumni have made a commitment to mentor our current players, which will be expanded in a new program in 2016.  The program, created in honor of the late Brandon Cherington Desir, will match current Brooklyn Tech football players with football alumni who will mentor them through their transition from high school to college.

Many of our recently graduated players have become tutors in the Casprep program, prepping young men and women to take the SHSAT. The program is led by Sam Adewumi, a graduate of Brooklyn Tech and Cornell University. Sam is also the head coach of the Brooklyn Tech Junior Varsity football team and a math teacher at Tech.   We are committed to helping all the young people in New York City to have the opportunity to attend a specialized high school.

Elijah Rueda (2015) tutoring young people in the Casprep program.

The Brooklyn Tech football program strives to create the best experience playing football available to young people.  We look to create a family atmosphere that is inclusive; involving parents and extended family, the school community and the local community.  We look to teach young people to become great parents in the future and adults that others can depend on.  Please let us know if we, as a program, can help you help in any way that fulfills our mission of service.  Together we can work to uplift those around us through servant leadership and work in our community. We believe that football has the power to transform all of those involved and the community around them.



{This is Part 2 of “We are Brooklyn Tech Football”, a series of articles explaining the scope of our football program}

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