Updated: May 4
Jaelan Phillips took a break from off-season workouts and become a mentor for incarcerated youth at the Broward County Juvenile Detention Center
On March 14, 2022, Miami Dolphins Defensive End, Jaelan Phillips took a break from off-season workouts and become a mentor for incarcerated youth at the Broward County Juvenile Detention Center.
The VERB Kind is a platform to show incarcerated youth consistency, love, attention and the possibility of breaking the cycle that has led them to juvenile detention. Phillips will join The VERB Kind Founder, Haley Hunt and a number of other volunteers, and will focus on the topic: Your Story Matters. The evening will start with the youth finishing this sentence, “When I walk home, I think about...” The thought-starter will lead to what the group thinks is a perfect story and if they know there are no perfect stories?
“Everyone has something in their story that shows they failed. But it’s okay to fail as long as it isn’t your whole story,” said Hunt. “Many of these kids' greatest stories have yet to be told, and we need to make them realize that, we need to offer them a second chance.”
Phillips is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. In 2018 he medically retired from playing college football after a number of injuries on the field and being hit by a car while on a moped. The Defensive End continued moving forward however, and dedicated his Junior year of college to returning to the football field. He found a home and a position with University of Miami, which was followed by a draft pick from the Miami Dolphins. .
“These young kids have faced more adversity in their lives, than many of us will our entire life. I want them to know, their life isn’t over because of the mistakes they made when they were young. There is still time to grow and heal. We will be here for them, and show them persistence through adversity is possible,” said Phillips.
*Photos taken by Broward JDC staff.