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Dunbar Offers Words of Inspiration

Posted May 21, 2015

Jo-Lonn Dunbar Offers Words of Inspiration at Saint Louis Public Schools Scholar Athlete Luncheon Sponsored by the Rams.

Saint Louis Public Schools recently celebrated high school students who excel at balancing school work and athletics at the fourth-annual Scholar Athlete Luncheon. The event, which is sponsored by the St. Louis Rams, recognized athletes who successfully complete the athletic season while maintaining a 3.25 GPA or higher.

“I’m so excited that the students in the Saint Louis Public Schools are excelling in academics and sports,” said Travis Brown Sr., emcee for the event. Mr. Brown is a retired SLPS athletic director who is currently working on special projects, including the Scholar Athlete Program, for SLPS Superintendent Dr. Kelvin R. Adams.

This year, SLPS recognized its largest group yet—501 scholar athletes (190 more than the first year), including 14 seniors who achieved the honor each of their four years of high school. The event began with lunch, where scholar athletes interacted with peers from other schools and table role models—adults who are successful in law, medicine, business and other fields and who have a connection to athletics, including representatives from the St. Louis Rams organization.

Among the esteemed table role models were orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard C. Lehman, world-record-holding sprinter Ivory Crockett, Missouri Higher Education Board member Mike Jones, Molly Higgins, vice president of corporate communications and civic affairs for the Rams, Artis Twyman, senior director of communications for the Rams and Nicole Woodie, community outreach and player involvement manager for the Rams.

Monsanto General Counsel Reuben A. Shelton gave an inspirational keynote address, and St. Louis Rams veteran linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar provided words of encouragement to the students, drawing on his own experiences as the son of a single mother who pushed him to excel on and off the field.

“I've never seen so many students so excited about a speech,” said Brown. “Quite a few student athletes have mentioned to me how much they enjoyed his remarks and learned from them. There have been many positive comments about his remarks. He did a magnificent job.”

Each scholar athlete received a certificate signed by Dr. Adams and a special 2014-15 Scholar-Athlete lapel pin to commemorate the occasion. The event was held at the Busch Student Center at Saint Louis University.