DURHAM, N.H. – Juniors Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.) and Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.), of the University of New Hampshire men’s basketball team, and junior Jenelle DeVits (Malden, Mass.) and freshman Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.), of the women’s squad, recently visited a pair of eighth-grade classrooms at Portsmouth Middle School to speak to students about the importance of education, as part of the UNH Life Skills program.
The athletes discussed with the students how sports are just a part of the bigger picture and that you need education to play a large role in going further and succeeding in your life. They spoke about making good choices, getting in good study habits and also brainstormed ways to excel academically, such as finishing homework before going outside to play.
“Speaking to younger kids is important,” DeVits said. “They need to understand the significance of receiving an education and that doing well in school comes before athletics.”

Santos agreed and also added that he enjoyed going to see the middle school students.
“I like talking to kids that are younger because there is so much room for them to change that you actually make an impact on them,” Santos said.

There was one student in particular that Santos felt he really connected with. The student told Santos that he had more important things to think about than school. Santos discussed those things with the student and helped him come up with a plan to fit them into his daily routine, while also finishing his schoolwork.

“Overall, it is important because you can never be done helping somebody,” Santos said. “If the kids think I’m great just because I play basketball, then I might as well try and help them out and give them some ideas that helped me make it to where I am today. I also learn from them, which is cool.”
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