BUFFALO, N.Y. — Kenya Peoples is the president of the GR8 Elite Ducks little league football program, but to the kids and fellow coaches, he's simply and lovingly Coach K.
"He's a great coach. For him not to get paid for what he does and he does it with no problem and he does it with a smile on his face and everything, that's big," said Douglas Hunt, vice president of the GR8 Elite Ducks. "There aren't too many people that are in little league football that care about the well being of the kids outside of football as much as he does."
Peoples knows the game is not just about the the X's and O's.
"Some of the lessons that you learn in youth football are lessons that carry you throughout your adulthood: being resilient, integrity, learning how to play as a team, learning how to respect others," said Peoples.
He teaches those lessons and more off the field, while volunteering in a mentoring program called Building GR8ness. The program which started in 2022, meets weekly for 12 sessions with approximately 40 children.
"I always think about that child that's given the opportunity, that's given that one little spark to take them to the next level," he said
Peoples says as he attended Bilingual Academy School #76 in Buffalo and graduated from City Honors and Buffalo State College, it was his single mother who kept him focused. Now as a single father to his 14-year-old son Christopher, he wants to be the same positive influence for his own child.
"Everything I have is for him. Everything I do is for him," Peoples said. "I did what I had to do to make my situation better in life."
He helps other parents through his day job as a financial coach for the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. Among other things, he teaches clients how to set a budget, start saving, build their credit and pay their bills.
"He's had a lot of information and references that I may not have been able to find on my own in a timely fashion and alot of it has been very helpful," said Aisha Henderson who is a client of Peoples.
Whether it's a financial plan, or a football game plan, Peoples approaches it all the same way.
"It's the old adage. If you feed them a fish they eat for a day. If you teach them to fish they eat for a lifetime and that's how I feel. When they follow it, they can use these same techniques for their children, and their children's children and that's how we build financial wealth," Peoples said. "I just want all of us to be successful, all of us moving forward. And we have to give back to the community. It's as simple as that."
To reach Kenya Peoples at the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, call (716) 848-6682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the BUILDING GR8NESS mentoring program call (716) 867-6130.
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