Bucs, Lightning, and Rays Unite to Support First Lady DeSantis’ Resiliency Initiative to Empower Florida Students

TAMPA, Fla. – Today, Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the launch of a resiliency initiative for Florida schools to emphasize key character development skills including volunteerism, teamwork, and problem-solving.

Unveiled at Amway Arena, professional sports teams, organizations, and athletes from across Florida are lending their support for these resiliency efforts.

“Our goal is to rethink and reframe the way we talk about mental wellbeing in schools by promoting topics such as critical thinking, problem-solving, responsibility, volunteerism, mentorship, and physical activity,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “By partnering with Florida sports teams and athletes, students will become more engaged and excited to learn about resiliency. Resilient athletes and Floridians overcome setbacks and serve as role models highlighting why these critical skills are important.”

“Given the lessons I’ve learned traveling the state, we are changing the message on mental health and reframing it to resiliency and hope,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis.

“We want to empower our youth with the tools and the skillsets to be resilient by learning how to persevere through life’s challenges. We know no one is immune from adversity and hardship. It’s not whether you’ll have challenges in life but it’s about how you respond and persevere.”

The Governor and First Lady were joined today by a legendary former football player, coach, and analyst Lou Holtz, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) Richard Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Florida Corey Simon, and the Orlando Magic’s CEO Alex Martins.

“Resiliency is created through perseverance and education – built on the strength that comes from overcoming that adversity,” said Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

“Volunteer Florida is proud to partner with the Governor, First Lady DeSantis and sports teams from across our great state for this innovative educational program encouraging students to be resilient in overcoming challenges,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Corey Simon. “As a former professional athlete myself, I know that building these connections on the ground between teams and Florida’s students will provide key mentorship opportunities so our youth can better themselves and be encouraged to achieve their highest potential”.

Florida professional major league sports teams and organizations from across Florida are applauding Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis for launching a new resiliency initiative for Florida schools to emphasize key character development skills including volunteerism, teamwork, and problem-solving.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are proud to partner with the Governor and First Lady Casey DeSantis in promoting resiliency education for Florida students,” said Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford. “Winning the Super Bowl was a major accomplishment, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t face trials and tribulations along the way – hard work and determination were key to our success.”

“The Tampa Bay Rays commend Governor and First Lady DeSantis for recognizing the importance of preparing Florida’s students with the character development skills to help them adapt to any of life’s challenges,” said Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman. “We are proud to partner with them on this resiliency initiative to ensure Florida students have the resources they need to succeed during even the most trying of times.”

“The Tampa Bay Lightning are proud to stand with the Governor and First Lady Casey DeSantis as they work to empower Florida students with crucial resiliency tools,” said Vinik Sports Group and Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “As the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions, the Bolts know that you can’t expect to succeed if you only put in work on the days you feel like it.”

This partnership is supported by resiliency lessons and resources hosted on www.cpalms.org, Florida’s premier one-stop-shop for teachers, students, and families that help bridge education in the classroom, and at home. 

Additionally, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the successful launch of 25 Hope Ambassador Clubs throughout Florida. Florida statutes outline required instruction for a myriad of topics including mental health and character education.

Partnerships Include:

 Orlando Magic, Orlando City SC, Orlando Pride, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, Inter Miami CF, Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers, NASCAR, LPGA

Athletes Endorsing Initiative Include:

David Beckham, Peyton Manning, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Urban Meyer, Crystal Thomas, Ali Marpet, Bryant McFadden, Mark Richt, Twan Russell, Corey Simon, Tra Thomas, Jonathan Vilma, Jonathan Isaac, Charlie Ward, Tyler Johnson, Joey Logano, Brandon Lowe, Chris Mueller


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