Two of the character traits VES students build are a “focus on community” and serving as “mindful leaders who serve with care and compassion.” Yesterday, our VES football team leaned into understanding and putting these skills into practice. Following morning chapel emphasized the importance of being an honorable man and serving others, the team traveled four short miles to the Daniels Hill area of Lynchburg, where they picked up trash to help beautify the neighborhood and visited Coach Trae Watkins’ (VES Class of 2008) childhood home. Standing in his former backyard, the boys listened to his story about how the neighborhood’s supervised playground and rec center played a transformative role in shaping his life’s positive trajectory. They also heard about how engaging with young kids and creating for them community and hope are often the difference that leads to success. The team plans to stay connected with the Daniels Hills Rec Center to assist with refurbishing the playground so that it will continue to impact the next generation of kids. The boys ended their time away from the practice field taking in the Lynchburg Hillcat’s baseball game and enjoying the camaraderie of their teammates.