Rodney McLeod discusses the SuperBowl victory with Dave Dameshak. Check out the full video interview w Dave Dameshak.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Division of Labor Force Statistics, the volunteer rate declined for the year ending in September 2015. Approximately 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015.
To increase the volunteer rates throughout the United States’ fifth largest city, NFL safety Rodney McLeod, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region (BBBS Independence) and Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams formed an alliance to register mentors while celebrating National Volunteer Month.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without mentors and positive role models in my life,” stated McLeod of the Philadelphia Eagles. “There are thousands of youth in Philadelphia and South Jersey facing significant challenges in today’s society.”
Through McLeod’s “Mentoring Is Brotherhood Challenge,” the collective have set out to recruit 100 male volunteers and raise $5,000 to support youth mentoring programs, run by BBBS Independence, this month. BBBS Independence currently has more than 1,200 children signed up and waiting for mentors, with the majority being young African American and Hispanic. McLeod is working with BBBS Independence and State Senator Williams by challenging all men in the Delaware Valley, especially men of color, to step up and volunteer.
“I think there’s a misperception that mentoring is a time consuming process,” said Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence.
“Our only requirement is that volunteer mentors (Bigs) meet with their mentees (Littles) 2-4 hours, 2-4 times per month. The time requirement is minimal, but the results are life-changing for youth in the program. We’re excited Rodney has decided to support our mission and hopeful that his status as an elite football player will attract the male demographic we’re looking for right now.”
State Sen. Anthony Williams, D-8, and Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod are challenging men to volunteer and become Big Brothers. Both came to Darby Township Fire Station to recruit men during National Volunteer Month.
Big Brother Big Sisters of America has more than 1,200 children on a waiting list for mentors. Eight hundred of them are boys according to Greg Burton, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program touches lives in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. The program also serves youngsters in Gloucester, Camden and Burlington in New Jersey.
Williams and McLeod talked to the small crowd gathered at the fire house about the impact one can make on a youngster as a mentor. Williams stressed the need for men to step up within the community to help children.
“We are recruiting men for young men. You may be at home, or at the mall or doing whatever you are doing, but at some course during your day, your week, your month or your year, you are going to come in contact with a young man who needs help. This is your opportunity to do something before he needs the help. Come out and sign up to be a Big Brother. It doesn’t take a lot of money and frankly it doesn’t take much time. What it does take is commitment of your heart and consideration for another generation,” said Williams.
Luckily McLeod had both parents rooting for him and supporting him.
“I always looked up to my parents. My mom and dad were always part of my life. They supported me to become the guy I am today; I feel it’s my duty to help other youth in the community. It’s much needed,” said McLeod.
Two Big Brothers from Delaware County were on hand to answer questions and encourage other men to become involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Tom McElvogue of Wayne mentored six young men. One graduated from Villanova University and another from West Chester University. He is now mentoring a junior at Conestoga High School. He has been a Big Brother for the past 45 years. McElvogue also received the Big Brother of the Century Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“The one thing all the boys had in common was that they didn’t have a dad. A lot of people think, which is a misconception, that it is an inner-city issue,” McElvogue said. “All these kids don’t have a male mentor in their life. They don’t have any male to talk to. They are looking for someone to talk to, to give them direction and encouragement. It’s a simple process. It’s not rocket science. It has tremendous results. They become productive members of the community.
“In Delaware County we have over 100 kids who are waiting for Big Brothers. It doesn’t take much, a couple of hours a month. Mentoring means being a part of your life. Going with you to pick up dry cleaning, washing your car, it doesn’t mean that you have to do something fancy. You are not a sugar daddy. It’s a relationship. It’s really simple and it works. Over 250,000 children come through our program and we take all the same precautions with background checks and have a relationship with working with social workers and parents.”
Dan Ruppert of Aldan knows how important it is for boys to have a male mentor in their life. His dad suffered from a stroke. Today he volunteers as a Big Brother. His Little Brother lives in Glenolden.
“I had the luxury of having several surrogate fathers in my life,” Ruppert said. “My father had a stroke when I was very little so I didn’t have the luxury of having a dad to play ball with, but in my neighborhood I had three friends’ dads who really took me in and mentored to me. They took me to ball games and all the good stuff and guided me when I was older.
“The idea that I can have a little bit of impact on somebody is icing on the cake. I feel so rewarded by the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. I can see the impact it has on them. It’s remarkable. It really is. To see than be a little more interested in school or to see things that they didn’t have an opportunity to see, a museum, or some activity or just talking it really is an inspiration.”
“It’s amazing the joy you get with in this whole process,” McElvogue said. “You see the boy develop and the relationship between you and he; Big and the Little. It becomes a real bond. It brings a lot of pride because of what you are doing and the realization that you are doing something very positive.”
There will be two more upcoming recruiting events for Big Brothers in the area: April 21 outside of FOX29 Studios and April 29 at Modell’s at 246 S. 24th Street in Philadelphia. For more information about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program go to www.independencebigs.org.
Check out the full story at Delcotimes.com
With Philly in the sports spotlight for the NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles Brent Celek and Rodney McLeod talk football, family, and free time.
Rodney McLeod and Brent Celek in action at the Linc.
Run down the stats and Brent Celek and Rodney McLeod don’t seem to have much in common. Celek, who began his career as a fifth-round draft pick under Andy Reid, is a veteran Eagles tight end and has been a fixture on both the football and philanthropy scenes in Philly for more than a decade. McLeod, who grew up around the Washington, DC area, just wrapped up his first season with the Eagles as a safety after starting out as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams, and is still getting to know his adopted hometown. But they do have one big thing in common: They love the food in Philly, from out-of-the-way pizza joints to stalwart dining experiences like Buddakan. Fresh off a charity fashion show for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Celek and McLeod donned suits instead of uniforms to talk to Philadelphia Style.
When did you both know that football was more than a hobby?
Brent Celek: I always knew I loved football. I watched all the games growing up, especially Notre Dame. I liked the Eagles but the Pittsburgh Steelers were my favorite team because of Jerome Bettis. He’s my favorite player of all time. I started playing tight end as a freshman in high school. During the first game I caught a touchdown pass, and I knew that was the position I wanted to play.
Rodney McLeod: My mom always made sure we did extracurricular activities, so I played football and basketball, and ran track growing up. I went to the Junior Olympics for track and ran in the Penn Relays in high school. I enjoyed it but I knew football was where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to just run—I wanted to have a purpose behind it. Track has really helped me on the field from a conditioning standpoint. I’ve got a lot of miles on these legs.
What were your first impressions about Philadelphia?
RM: I’m from the DC area so there are a lot of similarities. I had only been to Philly once before, but I had friends from here so I knew a lot about the city—like the cheesesteaks. I still don’t have a favorite.
BC: Cincinnati was like a ghost town compared to Philadelphia; I had never really been to a major city before. One of the first things that I heard was about the people, that it was a rougher, tougher city. And it turns out that it is. [Laughs] But I liked that. It’s changed me for the better.
How are you spending the off season?
RM: I’m going to stay in Philly and check out new restaurants. I have a whole list on my phone. I’ve knocked a lot of tourist stuff off my bucket list already: the Rocky steps, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell.
BC: My family and I are going to a cabin in the Midwest. I like to cook, so I’ll make everything from scratch, and read a lot. Being a new dad is the greatest thing ever. My daughter has really changed how I see the world.
What’s one thing people might not know about you?
RM: I’m the oldest of five brothers and sisters so I always helped out growing up, from making grilled cheese to changing diapers.
BC: I’m an entrepreneur at heart. Real estate is my passion so I’m getting more involved in that. And I’m working with a local R&B artist, Guordan Banks, on his music career. Music is my other passion.
by Sam Wood (Philly.com)
On the field, Rodney McLeod is the last line of defense.
The Eagles’ safety has one job. And that’s to get between anyone with the football and the goal line. He’s remarkably effective, and currently leads the team in solo tackles.
The unsung hero’s arrival in Philadelphia this year, via free agency, is one of the main reasons (along with Malcolm Jenkins) the Eagles have a much-improved defensive backfield.
Now McLeod aims to carry some of that power and mojo off the field, where he’s working to block cancer from taking any more lives.
The Eagles standout has been named an official ambassador for the Philadelphia-based American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to battling the disease.
The Giants (5-3) won their third straight game, holding off the Eagles (4-4 after a 3-0 start) after Manning was intercepted with less than two minutes to go.
Two of Manning’s touchdowns went to Odell Beckham Jr., with the others to Roger Lewis Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
It was a game marked by big plays on offense – six of more than 30 yards in the first half alone- and defense (four interceptions) and special teams (Jason Pierre-Paul’s block of a field goal, Darren Sproles’ 66-yard punt return). Most of
Sunday, it was a mismatch of Manning and his receiving corps against a sieve of an Eagles secondary. New York picked on every Philly defensive back, with the biggest Leodis McKelvin, no matter who he tried to cover.
Less than two minutes in, Landon Collins made his third interception in the last two games; he had one pick as a rookie last year. Manning found Beckham on a slant after McKelvin failed to bump him at the line, and Beckham surged into the end zone for a 26-yard score.
Andrew Adams, a rookie safety from UConn, had no interceptions in his previous five games. He sure knew what to do with the ball after hauling in Carson Wentz’s high pass moments later, returning it 19 yards. Manning hit Lewis three plays later after McKelvin and Jaylen Watkins collided and it was 14-0.
Manning’s third TD throw came on a 1-yard jump ball to Beckham over McKelvin to make it 21-10.
Wentz looked like a rookie from an FCS school in the first half, often appearing befuddled by coverages. Twice, the Eagles failed on short fourth downs while in field goal range.
But he came out of halftime a different player, quickly guiding the Eagles 70 yards to Kenjon Barner’s 3-yard TD run.
Manning, though, was just as precise and decisive on the ensuing drive, capped by his fourth TD throw, 32 yards to rookie Shepard. That gave Manning his first four-TD game since Game 14 last season.
Wentz remained much sharper in the second half, leading the Eagles to two field goals by Caleb Sturgis. But Philly went 3 for 15 on third downs, 1 for 4 on fourth downs.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — Josh Huff returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, Carson Wentz outplayed Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles beat Minnesota 21-10 on Sunday, handing the Vikings their first loss of the season.
Rodney Mcleod picked added
The Eagles (4-2) snapped a two-game losing streak while the rested Vikings (5-1) hardly looked like an unbeaten team after having a bye.
Kirk Cousins threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and the Washington Redskins ran roughshod over one of the NFL’s top defenses in a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The three-headed running attack of Matt Jones, Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson combined for 231 yards and a touchdown as the Redskins (4-2) won their fourth consecutive game. After starting the season 0-3, Washington has its best record through six games since 2008.
The Redskins put up 493 offensive yards against the Eagles (3-2), who came in allowing an average of 266.8 yards and 12.6 points as the league’s second-best defense. Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Cousins and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown, but Philadelphia struggled to stop Washington for most of the day.
Cousins, who was 18 of 34 and not at his best, connected with Jamison Crowder on a 16-yard touchdown and with Vernon Davis on a 13-yard touchdown. Davis started at tight end in place of Jordan Reed, who was out with a concussion.
Jones ran for a 1-yard touchdown and sealed the victory with a 57-yard run on third down with 1:27 left as part of his 135-yard day. Whenever rushing yards stack up like that there is usually lot of tackles in the secondary which was seen by Rodney Mcleod’s 12 tackles and 2 assists.
The Eagles will look to bounce back from consecutive losses next week.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press