Daily Sports Smile: Chargers welcome high school athletes for annual leadership summit

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

The Los Angeles Chargers are helping young athletes become leaders on and off the gridiron. Recently, the Chargers partnered with American Airlines to host their annual Take Charge Summit.

The special event brought together 100 Los Angeles high school football athletes. The group included rising seniors that will step into leadership roles on their respective teams. Each athlete learned how prepare for the next step towards college and in the professional ranks.

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Fellow Chargers Asante Samuel Jr. and Joshua Palmer were on hand as special guests. They spoke with the high school athletes about the importance of showcasing leadership in high-level roles.

"It’s a blessing to be able to give back," Samuel Jr. said. "Seeing those guys out there, it could be them too. So, I just explained to them, just keep going and never stop. Explaining to them the grind, the adversity and everything that comes with the NFL and college. Just trying to show them and lead them the right way."

The Take Charge Summit is similar to the NFL programs that help rookies transition to the league. The high school athletes also worked together with community projects.

They helped prepare special treats for local organization Priceless Pet Rescue and wrote letters to veterans at the VA of Long Beach. Together, they also made ribbons to remember high school athletes that passed away.

The Chargers highlighted the event on their social media platforms. Chargers community relations manager Chase Hartman was happy for the event turnout. He looks forward to seeing the impact each athlete will have in their community.

"Having Asante and Joshua here to share some advice with these young high school kids was really vital," Hartman said in the video. "This will help them take charge of their lives both on the field and off and hopefully really shape them into effective leaders in their community."

The Chargers continue to give back to their community. Last month, the organization held their charity golf invitational to benefit the Chargers Impact Fund. The special fund was created in 1995 and has awarded over $12 million in direct community assistance over the years.

Alongside the golf invitational, the Chargers also support the Impact Fund by mentoring youth, helping local families and providing assistance with animal welfare and emergency response.

The Chargers will return to training camp on July 25. The first day of practice is July 27 and will run through August 18.