Jefferson High Players Prove ‘Anybody Can Serve’

Pictured: Joshua Midulla, Joey Midulla, Jaylynn Williams, Andrew Clark, Alejandro Cuellar, Jansen Thomas-Hardy, Jefferson coach Joe Midulla.

   It was a day off for Hillsborough County Schools but a day on for the Jefferson High football team. The players gathered on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday to fellowship, have breakfast and hear from a speaker about Dr. King’s legacy.

   The speaker encouraged them to volunteer, noting one of King’s most famous quotes.

   “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

   Heeding those words, Jefferson coach Joe Midulla reached out to United Way Suncoast to learn about volunteer opportunities offered by the nonprofit. This summer, a select group of players have engaged in multiple projects.

   The players have twice sorted beads recovered from Gasparilla celebrations at the MacDonald Training Center. They also plan to prepare items for UWS’ certified nursing assistant graduates, and they will lend assistance at Feeding Tampa Bay.

   “It’s just what I was looking for when it comes to developing this part of our program and the experience that kids that play football in our program get exposed to,” Coach Midulla said. “It’s a humbling experience to be connected with other community members whose actions positively impact the lives of so many people.”

   United Way Suncoast has volunteer opportunities for a wide variety of people, including teens. In fact, children between the ages of 12 and 18 annually produce more than 1,000 volunteer hours for United Way Suncoast.

   To learn more, visit

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