Rockdale students interested in a career in the sports profession gathered Thursday to gain some insight from local resident and NFL official Jerome Boger.
Boger was the guest speaker at the "Making the Right Call" mentoring event held to educate students about career opportunities available within different sports industries and what it takes to succeed.
Boger has been an official for 34 years and was the head official at the Super Bowl this year.
"Whatever your desire is, if your commitment level is there, you can do it," Boger told the approximately 150 students gathered to him speak at the gym at Rockdale County High School Thursday night.
Boger explained the required steps he took to become an official. Chief among them was being a "stellar student" and graduating from college.
Boger, a Morehouse College alumnus, said all 121 NFL officials are college graduates. He also recommended that students interested in pursing a sports career should begin by volunteering with local recreation departments and schools either as a statistician or trainer.
"Education is the cornerstone to making sure you fit in," Boger said of his profession. "I just wanted the youth to have an opportunity to consider something they might not have thought about before.
"You have to be a student of the game and commit to spend time in preparations."
Originally from Atlanta, Boger now lives in Conyers and works full time as an underwriter for Allstate Insurance.
His job as an NFL official requires 19 working days throughout the regular season and he earned the spot as the lead official at the Super Bowl in New Orleans by having the highest score for accuracy among all 121 officials in the league.
Students asked a variety of questions, from the events of the recent Super Bowl, to referee salary range, to how to get started in that field.
Event organizer Tommy Plummer said in closing, "For the students who have come here I want to say that you have structure.
"There are a million other things you could have done after school, but you came here. That tells me you already have an idea about reality."
The "Making the Right Call" initiative will be mentoring students at all Rockdale high schools and will be holding future forums to educate students as they select their career paths.
Plummer, a retired event planner, founded the mentoring initiative to guide local students interested in careers in the professional sports industry.
For more information, contact Roxanne James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-200-4577 or Tommy Plummer at email@example.com or 323-434-6707.