Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod was met with boisterous claps and cheers upon entering the Chester High School auditorium early Monday morning after his team’s win on Sunday.

McLeod mostly received applause for bringing a fleet of recreational vehicles to assist the Student Health Impact Project and CF Charities with providing health services for their Healthy Attitude school tour.

“This is very special you know,” he said. “We come out and we talk to these kids about health and wellness; what that means and how to maintain being healthy. It’s important they understand how their health will affect their lives and future success.”

SHIP is a health and wellness initiative that supports children across the region who are facing serious health disparities. The CF Charities is a partner that advocates for educational and enrichment opportunities for youth.

“We all come together for one purpose and that’s to get these children access to health care,” said Nikki Bagby. “Not only are we supporting the initiative to make sure children have access to health care but we want to make sure once they get their teeth clean and have dental coverage that they will also have access to other necessary dental screenings.”

McLeod also spoke to the students about being determined and working toward reaching their highest potential.

“I speak to the kids about success not only from a health standpoint but also in life,” he said. “What it means and what it looks like. Giving them a positive role model to look up to. I come from a similar area and communities with similar backgrounds. It’s good to see a familiar face or someone that they can relate to.”

According to McLeod, the RVs provide free dental and vision care that might otherwise be unavailable. He says it’s all about prevention and creating access for the kids.

DJ Diamond Kuts was the music man for the Healthy Attitude tour stop in Chester with rapper LGP Qua performed for the audience. Quincy Harris of The Q show on Fox 29-TV in Philadelphia conducted a discussion with McLeod that gave the Chester students an opportunity to ask for advice.

“This is just an awesome program we have Rodney McLeod, LGP Qua, we have Quincy Harris,” Bagby said. “It is just a way to motivate high school students to get their teeth screened. The model is ‘my voice, your health, no cap.’”

Contact Johann Calhoun at newseditor@phillytrib.com or call at (215) 893-5739

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