Former baseball pro shares wisdom with students

Apr 13th, 2011

LAKE WALES – A former Major League Baseball player made the rounds in Lake Wales last week when he visited two local schools to encourage students to work hard and make wise choices.

Benj Sampson, a former pitcher with the Minnesota Twins, now works with Learning Through Sports, and its STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Replay) mentor program. On Friday, April 8,  he visited students at Hillcrest Elementary and Janie Howard Wilson Elementary.

“He spoke to our Hawks about working hard in school, making wise choices, and some tips on how to be successful at reaching their dreams,” said Kelly Stentz, a third grade teacher at Hillcrest.

At both schools, Sampson shared his personal story of playing many sports in high school while keeping his grades high.

“He motivated kids to make wise choices and follow the school’s behavior expectations. He also encouraged students to set a goal in life,” said Amy Harris, the writing resource teacher at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary.

“He told them ‘You can do anything in life, as long as you work for it and try your best!’ When he left, he even wished the students ‘good luck’ on the FCAT tests!” said Harris.

PHOTO #1: Hillcrest Elementary students welcome guest speaker and former baseball pro Benj Sampson.

PHOTO #2: Janie Howard Wilson Elementary students listen to guest speaker and former baseball pro Benj Sampson.

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