On February 2, 2010, the Portage Beaconsfield program for adolescents welcomed Montreal Alouettes Defensive End, Anwar Stewart as a representative of the Adopt an Alouette program.
Anwar spoke to the thrity adolescents currently residing at the centre about his experience growing up in tough neighbourhood in the United States with a mother who was addicted to drugs. He told them about the choice he made to pursue his education, and how that choice afforded him the opportunity to play football. He took residents’ questions and discussed their concerns. Anwar told the residents that that they too will have to make many decisions that will shape their lives, reiterating that he believes they have very bright futures ahead of them.
Dr. Ron Clavier, an expert on adolescent development who trains the Alouettes for these presentations, was also on hand to explain the effects of substance abuse to the Portage residents. He explained the general science of what certain drugs do to the body and reinforced the importance of healthy choices.
The Adopt an Alouette program sends Montréal Alouette football players to elementary schools, high schools, and centres like Portage to help students develop their confidence and leadership skills and to encourage them make the best possible decisions for their futures. Players set an example by relating their own stories of perseverance, hard work, and determination to issues that adolescents are faced with today.
Anwar Stewart has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social work with a focus on counseling youth. He has been an Alouette since 2002 and was part of the Alouette’s Grey Cup winning teams in 2002 and 2009. This past season he was named Canadian Football League (CFL) All-Star and East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
PHOTO: Anwar Stewart speaks to Portage West Island residents
PHOTO: Portage Prévost, near lac Écho also adopted Alouettes: Danny Desriveaux and Martin Bédard.