I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity CAAEL has given, not just me personally as a coach, but the opportunity to give these kids a chance to shine. They way they react to just hearing someone say that they are proud of them makes us all as a staff and team want to continue to come up with more ways to motivate them to continue to strive to make us proud. The timing of this [joining CAAEL] could not have been more perfect. As a police officer, I was at the point where I was disheartened because I felt like I was not challenging our students enough or giving them a positive outlet to focus their energy on. This does so much for them and our community as a whole. The week that we did not have a game due to the other team having to cancel, we tried to have a Joliet Police Department vs. JT Alternate HS game. Due to such short notice we only had a few officers that could play but they talked to the students about the sportsmanship that they displayed and two of our students gave out two CAAEL sportsmanship ribbons to them. That’s what’s so special about this group of kids. With all the negative things in the media about police officers, I strive to show them something different and this was a great experience for them to see that. Our Joliet Chapter of the Black Police Officers Association also donated to have my barber come to the school and give the team haircuts so they would look nice for the CAAEL State Basketball Tournament. One less thing that the parents and kids would have to worry about. This has been an amazing journey watching them make goals and try to be successful. I know we can’t save them all but with the help of CAAEL they are at least willing to try. I just wanted you to know how grateful we are for all of the hard work that you and the CAAEL family put forth to change these kids lives for the better! Keep up the good work!
Det. D. Anderson #201
Joliet Police Department