Upper Arlington

Mentors from all walks of life can wield influence

To the Editor:

Summer is ending soon and with fall comes students coming back to practices in Upper Arlington Golden Bear stadium and all over central Ohio.

While growing up in Upper Arlington as a former basketball player at St. Agatha School, I was taught qualities of character. I feel coaches and teachers can serve as mentors, along with parents, that life means sometimes winning with honor and losing with grace. They can support the talented, comfort the troubled and promote good character.

My inspiration is Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was a good coach to nurture dreams, teacher to encourage success, heroine, and sister to Rosemary Kennedy. Eunice's mother, Rose, taught her to be the cheerleader for Rosemary.

Rosemary had the same upbringing as Eunice, Kathleen and Pat, despite her disability.

As I see the coaches at Northam Park with their soccer players, I can see that their players are getting a lesson in respect, acceptance, compassion and inclusion. All it takes is one person to inspire another person by taking their hand, like my parents, Joe and Mary Roberts, did. Everyday people can make it happen with a heart in Upper Arlington and central Ohio.

Coaches, teachers, mentors, parents and everyday people can be heroes if they inspire hope in our children, especially special needs children and adults, such as my son, Joey, who has Asperger and cognitive disability (and) whose hero is his mother. I have heard and seen by taking his hand when he needs me I am already a hero to my daughter, Lexy, and son, Matt.

Lilli Roberts
Upper Arlington