At the heat of the NFL offseason, Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn Was in Tanzania, in East Africa, opening up a College.
Lynn, together with his wife, NBC New York news anchor Stacey Bell, helped finance a college in a rural Maasai village of Lanjani in the northern portion of the nation. In a phone conversation with Jenny Vrentas of SI.com in Tanzania, Lynn recently detailed his summer-break trip to Africa.
“These kids were getting pushed to the workforce as soon as possible, growing up without schooling at all,” Lynn said. “It was miserable, because where do your hopes and dreams come from if you do not have that? How do you know if you like science until you take a science class? When I learned about the situation, I felt like I had to get concerned.”
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The school will help provide education for the rural population who has witnessed their own way of life challenged recently by hotter weather and unpredictable rains because of climate change, along with several other local obstacles. Classes are expected to start this past week, per Vrentas, with roughly 300 boys and girls in grades K-3. Lynn hopes children will be offered another route by the school through instruction. Lynn explained to Vrentas a few started. One example is the college opens at 10 a.m. each day since lions feed to 9 a.m.
“These are things I never would have understood if I didn’t come over here,” Lynn said of the excursion.
Lynn said he intends to bring the lessons learned in Africa back to Los Angeles when Chargers training camp opens later this month.
“I always try to take life experiences and use them in soccer terms,” Lynn stated. “Plenty of times, once you’re able to help develop these young guys into better guys, they will also become better soccer players. It’s something we will talk about. When you have the grit and toughness I have seen here in Tanzania, and you place positivity behind that, you can do anything you want to do.”
Lynn said the trip surprisingly could have left as big an impression on him as it did to the children he is serving.
“You know, you go someplace, and you expect to help people and have an effect, and they wind up having an impact on you,” he explained. “Their resiliency, their toughness, their mindset, their smiles. You see it and experience it, and it makes you appreciate what you actually have.”