Real Salt Lake FW Jamie Watson and MF Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick are kicking off a partnership with Utah's First Lady Mary Kaye Huntsman on Monday, January 23 at 11:00 a.m. MT, at Murray High School located at 5540 So. State St. in Murray, to help spread the message of "Power In You", a mentoring program assisting teenagers in reaching their educational and life potential.
Watson and Fitzpatrick will join the First Lady to present "Power In You" to the Murray high students and announce a new segment of the program which addresses the dangers of dating while teaching teenagers, both female and male, to be responsible and respectful in relationships. The RSL players will serve as positive, male role models for this portion as well as for the program in its entirety.
"As professional athletes, we have an opportunity and responsibility to reach out to young people and talk to them about making positive choices," Fitzpatrick said. "Specifically, as male role models in the position we're able to be in, I believe we can really get the message across to teenage boys that respecting women is important and we choose to use our strength in positive ways."
RSL feels the Dating Dangers portion of Power in You is an important issue to tackle after learning that dating violence is one of the fastest growing and most serious violent crimes in Utah, according to The Violence Against Women Act of 2005. The 2005 Rape in Utah report states that more than 90% of victims report their attacker was not a stranger to them.
Mrs. Huntsman approached RSL with the partnership opportunity after meeting several of the players and realizing what a huge impact they have on Utah's youth. She wanted to take it further than kids simply watching these athletes on the soccer field and invited them to be "Power In You" ambassadors. Fitzpatrick, Watson, and other RSL players will speak to middle and high school students across Utah about critical subjects like dating violence. In addition, they will talk about their own, personal struggles they were faced with as a youth, and the focus it took to keep them on track in order to reach their goals.
Watson, Fitzpatrick, and FW Jordan Cila will also be joining the First Lady on Friday, January 27 at 10:00 a.m. MT for the "Power In You" assembly at West Ridge Academy located at 5500 W. Bagley Park Road in West Jordan.