At Wolverine Community Schools, retired police officer turned substitute teacher, Bill Priest, noticed a lack of resources when it came to extracurriculars. Priest saw an opportunity to turn his passion for Jiu Jitsu into an act of service for his students.
Priest has been training in jiu jitsu for the past three years. He quickly realized he could train his students with minimal resources as an after-school activity.
“I come from service. I was in the Navy. And then I was in the state police for 26 years. So, it’s kind of ingrained in me and a lot of that comes from my father who was a World War II vet…I’m like, hey, I’d like to do this. I want to do it totally free for the kids,” Priest said.
Priest says the feedback from the students, school, and parents has been nothing but positive.
“To see the kids really focus on this and just be totally enthralled with it and just immersed in it and loving it. And so that the kids love it. The parents love it. The school loves it. It’s a win-win for everybody and its low cost to the district.”
Though the club is low-cost, Priest has started a GoFundMe to help with the future of the program. Priest says he’d like to get new equipment, proper attire for the club, and eventually wants to start taking his kids to seminars and competitions.
Through the club, his students tell 9 & 10 they’ve learned about respecting others, self-defense, and how to make new friends.
To help with Priest’s worthy cause his GoFundMe can be found here.