More than 60 students, including classmates from the Bethune Transitional Center for homeless students, were treated to a holiday luncheon, inspiring words from former NFL players, goody-filled backpacks and other gifts during a recent field trip to the newly renovated Rancho Los Alamitos historical site.
Former NFL players Damon Dunn, Ryan Nece and Sam Cunningham spoke to students about the importance of resilience and overcoming adversity. During the talk, the rapt audience got a close-up look at Nece’s Superbowl ring, passing the sparkling piece of jewelry from row to row so everyone could try the “bling” on for size.
Providing the backpacks for the occasion was 15-year-old Zachary Bonner, a Tampa, Florida resident whose Little Red Wagon Foundation has distributed more than 6,000 backpacks to homeless youth. The backpacks are filled with food, personal hygiene kits and other supplies. Bonner has walked more than 4,200 miles to raise awareness about the plight of homeless youth, including a walk from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
The annual LBUSD Superintendent’s Luncheon for Bethune students was coordinated by Mike Murray, director of government affairs for Verizon. Murray also is a past president and long-time board member of the Long Beach Education Foundation.