by Tara Moore
Oh how I enjoyed traveling back to Mobile, AL for the Senior Bowl! Even though Reese’s cups have always been my favorite, the chocolate wasn’t the only highlight of this amazing trip. While visiting, I first had the opportunity to speak with the students of E.R. Dickson Elementary School. I shared the principles of the “Be Your Best Self” program and we even had some fun taking a few selfies too! I also had the privilege of visiting a first grade classroom where I answered questions about the program and received abundant hugs.
Following the presentation, I had the honor of meeting some of the sponsors of the national program such as Evonik and Alabama Power. I enjoyed learning about each of these companies and so appreciate their generosity. That evening, we went to the famous Wintzell’s Oyster House for dinner. I had the opportunity to meet Nicole Renard, the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013, who was serving as an intern for the Senior Bowl. It was so great to finally meet her in person and learn all about her experiences since her participation in the program.
The next morning, we traveled to the University of South Alabama’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital. I got to meet several of the SEC players in the Senior Bowl and visit children of all ages. We played with them and even signed autographs for them to have as a keepsake. It was amazing to meet so many strong children who continue to keep a smile on their face regardless of their circumstances.
We then grabbed some lunch and traveled to the “Meet the Players” event at the local convention center. This was a huge event and people were lined up for hours hoping to get the autographs of their favorite players. I had a personal booth set up as well to promote the Distinguished Young Women program and pass out treats. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as I got to meet some of the most talented college football players from all across the country. I especially made it a point to take a picture with the players from my favorite team, the Clemson Tigers!
The final day of our trip consisted of photoshoots and football. On Saturday morning, I was pampered as a stylist did my hair and makeup for a photoshoot. We took several pictures and I loved being a model for the day. You might just see one of these fun pictures on the cover of the national finals program book!
Immediately after taking pictures, we attended the Reese’s Senior Bowl for a fun filled day. We were treated like royalty as we sat in a suite sponsored by Regions bank during the game and enjoyed plenty of refreshments. Also, I was announced on the field during halftime with the famous “Cuppie” Reese’s mascot. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. I enjoyed being back in Alabama, even for a short while, and meeting so many incredible people. I was humbled and honored to take part in the Senior Bowl festivities as the national representative of a program that I love so much! And of course during the game, I couldn’t help but cheer… Go Tigers!