THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
Saturday, April 14, 2012 | Memphis, TN | My Life/All Sections
Something good in Memphis
Ex-cheerleader coaches young ones
By James Seacat, Special to My Life
Kelli Eason, MAM volunteer and cheerleader coach (second from left) is joined by Danielle Gulledge; M’Hogany Richmond; Kenyatta Thomas, MAM worker and cheerleader coach; Kamia’ Morris, team mascot; and Jaha Hughes at the Memphis Athletic Ministries Olivet center as the group gathers for cheerleading practice.
Kelli Eason has been nominated for recognition in MIFA’s Something Good in Memphis campaign by Billy Buford.
“‘Cheerleading made a big difference in my life,’ says Kelli. ‘I started cheering in the eighth grade, and I was terrible. Luckily, my mom found me a great coach who made the difference. These girls may not ever have access to a great coach, so I want to give them the confidence that my coach gave me. Confidence, teamwork and respect are all things I learned through the sport, and I hope these girls will too.
“‘We talk extensively about how they don’t have to be best friends, but they do have to respect each other,’ Kelli said.”We still have work to do, but we have seen each girl growing in character.’
“Shaking her pompon, M’Hogany Richmond says that the best part is the cute uniforms, while Jaha Hughes admits that cheerleading is harder than it looks. Asia Brewer explains the importance of teamwork and respect. But Juanita Garner sums up the way cheerleading is empowering the girls best when she says, ‘At first I was afraid, but now I am brave.'”
James Seacat is director of communications for Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association.