Faces of Success: Terreka Usher
Football workouts in 90 degree weather don’t sound like much fun. However, students at Napier Elementary School will tell you their NFL experience last Tuesday was a thrill of a lifetime.
“I enjoyed the heat,” said Terreka Usher. “It was fun to wear a jersey and helmet and run through all of the different drills.”
Terreka was one of 60 students who were selected to participate in last week’s NFL/United Way Hometown Huddle, based on her grades and good behavior. The Tennessee Titans and United Way partnered for Hometown Huddle, the annual day of service throughout the NFL designed to increase awareness to issues of youth health and wellness. It’s a day Terreka and her family won’t forget.
“For her to have the opportunity to participate in Hometown Huddle and spend time with the players was a phenomenal experience,” said Terreka’s mother, Jameka Usher. “There are times where I can’t get her to go outside and play with her brother; Hometown Huddle was a great experience for her to learn about the importance of physical activity.”
Terreka and her classmates competed in flag football games and also ran through a series of NFL Play 60 activity stations, reinforcing the importance of daily physical activity. Members of the Tennessee Titans Women’s Association and United Way staff painted interactive game murals around the building to inspire students and their families to stay active. Titans cheerleaders even led a Zumba class to get students moving. It was a day that many adults would envy.
“We didn’t have these types of opportunities when I was growing up,” said Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. “Football gave me a chance for a healthy lifestyle, and Hometown Huddle is a great way to teach children about the importance of health. The kids had a blast, and I really enjoyed spending time with them.”
“It was interesting to watch the players and children interact; the access the children had was unreal. Most adults never come close to an experience like this.”
Usher knows Terreka will always remember Hometown Huddle and hopes it inspires her daughter to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“Getting outside and staying active will help her curb the risk of obesity. Physical activity also helps her socialize with other children. I know Hometown Huddle will always remind her why it’s important to stay healthy.”
Hometown Huddle is just one example that illustrates how the partnership between the Tennessee Titans and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville improves community conditions at scale and changes lives Together, we are building successful health futures for Nashville children and families like the Ushers.