Character development and leadership
By NG3 staff
Hutson Mason stands in front of the entire UGA football team and is charged with a seemingly remedial task of leading his teammates with jumping jacks. That may seem like a non-issue, but it very well may have been one of the most high pressure situations Mason faced all year.
The coaching staff brought in a team of Navy Seals to teach the team about discipline, teamwork, and servant leadership, and Mason found himself in the crosshairs of the Seals’ attention.
This anecdote was part of Hutson Mason’s speech on servant leadership shared with a crowd of more than 250 at NG3’s second annual Faith In Sports Banquet. The fundraiser was held at Snellville United Methodist Church and serves as the largest revenue generator of the year for NG3, a non-profit solely reliant on raising support. The funds raised will be used to establish NG3 staff members on new high school campuses, as well as aid current school directors with their operating budgets. Along with hearing from Mason, former UGA and NFL linebacker Rennie Curran, shared the stage with South Gwinnett High School senior, Josh Shim. They shared personal accounts of how the influence of NG3 has shaped their decision-making processes, perspectives on life, and the importance of staying spiritually grounded.
Why did so many people show their support for NG3 at the banquet, and so many others support NG3 in different ways like volunteering, being monthly donors, and hosting huddle groups? One example is the difference NG3 is making on the campus of Grayson High School. This semester marks the beginning of a brand new, student-led character development program being implemented across several sports, including track & field, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, and baseball. At the start of each week, NG3 director, Dustin Mattox, meets with student leaders from the Track & Field team in what has become known as “leadership Mondays”. Mattox leads a lesson on the featured character trait for the week, such as responsibility, respect, humility, or the like, then opens the floor for discussion with the leaders. A plan is set for each group and the responsibilities of who will lead are divided among the student leaders. The team usually won’t break out into their character groups until Friday, giving the student leaders time throughout the week to refine and review their lesson plans with Mattox.
This new, student-led initiative on Grayson’s campus has empowered more than 20 student athletes to step up and lead their peers in discussing topics that will build men and women of strong character for tomorrow. Possibly the most inspiring piece about this program, Mattox feels as if, “most of the student leaders have been waiting for someone to give them permission and an opportunity to lead.”
Across our high school campuses, student athletes are hearing and witnessing the importance of character and are given the opportunity to strengthen their faith through the presence of NG3. Young men and women are given chances to stand up and lead and make a positive difference in the lives of their peers. If you think more needs to be done to ensure our high schoolers are prepared to face the challenges of life and do so while making courageous choices, you are not alone. NG3 is dedicated to being the consistent voice of truth in our high schools and would love for you to join the cause, because character does change communities.
Interested in finding out more about what NG3 is doing to make a difference in the Next Generation or how you can help? Go to http://www.ng3.co. NG3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 independently funded by donors like you!!
P.O. Box 1429
Snellville, GA 30078
Javier Muñoz - Character Coach, Community Coach
Matt Williams - NG3 Director Chaplain, Community Coach
Dustin Mattox - Chaplain, Community Coach
South Gwinnett HS
Michael Woelfl - Chaplain
Director of Operations
NG3 stands for Next Generation: Character Community Change. Their goal is to develop men and women of character to create a positive change in our communities. NG3 works directly with student athletes in high schools, teaching and practicing the importance of strong core values like responsibility, humility, integrity and honesty. The staff of NG3 works along side the coaches employed by the school, providing a constant presence of reliability and service.