Olympic Gold Medal Winner Shares Strategies For Success With Rahway High School Students

by Maryjane Finne

RAHWAY — On Friday, Feb. 17, Olympic Gold Medallist Dain Blanton, a professional beach volleyball player and sportscaster for the Los Angeles Clippers, spent the day with students at Rahway High School.

In the morning, Blanton met with freshman students who are part of a new Freshman Transition initiative, a program that provides students with skills in financial literacy and enables them to create a personalized, comprehensive, yet flexible, 10-year plan for their own transition into adulthood. He shared with these freshmen the importance of goal setting, having a positive attitude, developing the ability to overcome obstacles, and displaying self-discipline in academics and extra-curricular activities, so that the students might be able to successfully pursue their dreams just as he has.

Blanton stressed the need to be prepared now in case opportunities present themselves later, citing as an example, Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, who was on the bench in Los Angeles, but was prepared when injuries sidelined those players ahead of him on the New York team. He even passed around his gold medal from the Olympics, making concrete the fruits of hard work.

Later in the day, Blanton met with some students in classes, and then in the afternoon, he made a presentation to the upperclassmen. Finally, he joined faculty members after school at a reception where teachers had a opportunity to know him better. Blanton, a highly skilled public speaker, who effectively engages his audiences in order to encourage them to pursue excellence, created a special bond with staff and students at Rahway High School during his visit here.

Broadcast journalism student Lindsay Reeseg interviews Dain Blanton in the “Kudos” studio.

As the first African-American professional beach volleyball player and winner of a $300,000 prize, Dain Blanton was able to offer encouragement to members of Rahway high school’s volleyball team.

Dain Blanton stopped in to Patricia Williams’ Algebra class to meet students personally.

(Photos courtesy of Rahway High School)

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