Feb. 26, 2009
On Monday, February 23, UCLA sophomore tailback Derrick Coleman once again served as a role model.
Coleman, who was UCLA's second-leading rusher last season as a true freshman, is not like most college football players. A gene defect has resulted in nearly a complete loss of hearing for Coleman, who wears hearing aids during practices and games. The hearing issue has not kept him from reaching goals such as earning a college scholarship and playing football, and he wants others to know that the issue should not keep them from striving to meet their goals.
This past Monday, Coleman visited Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, which has a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. He visited several classes, sharing his story with the students as well as telling them about his experiences as a student-athlete at UCLA.
"My message is that they shouldn't be embarrassed about wearing their hearing aids," Coleman said. "Everyone has different problems but ours can be overcome. Hopefully, listening to my experiences can help them overcome their fears and achieve their goals."
This is not the first time Coleman has tried to be of assistance to youngsters. After one practice last Fall, he met with a youngster who didn't want to wear his hearing aids during his Pop Warner games. After meeting with Coleman, the youngster was ready to wear his hearing aids in his next game.