Prince: Hello Mr. Sheppard, how are you?
Sheppard: I’m great prince how are you?
Prince: I’m doing well thanks for asking. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with me about your life and your accomplishments. I understand that our conversation will be short but I greatly appreciate your kind candor to interview you.
Sheppard: No problem.
Prince: Great Let’s first start off be giving a brief introduction of yourself?
Sheppard: I’m originally from Brooklyn (NY) but I grew up in New Jersey for most of my life. I attended Catholic school from grade school all the way through college. My first public school experience was at SDSU where I attained a Master’s degree. I had a very diverse upbringing. My Dad was Cuban and my family is of African and Native American descent. I remember that I was the only black kid at a Jewish Day Camp out of 3000. One thing that I can tell you [about my life] is that Football played a huge factor. I played football in college at Georgetown University [where I received my bachelors in Psychology]. I then became a strength and conditioning coach at SDSU [where I received my masters in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sports Psychology]. As a coach, I got to spend real time with student athletes and that’s when I really turned my life around—from being a participant to being the observant [outside looking in].
Prince: Wow so tell me that experience–that turning point in your life?
Sheppard: Well, being a coach forced me to meticulously plan for everything—including my life. But it was not until I became a coach that I learned to “let God take the wheel.” In recent years, including today, I have become closer to God. For the first time, I’ve learned to listen to God and let Him drive. It was then that I realized that I had to do more for people in need.
Prince: That is amazing. I am just now learning to “Let go and Let God.” I am glad to hear that it has worked so well with you. Now tell me about Embrace: what is it? And how it got started?
Sheppard: Embrace is a non-profit organization that utilizes college students to serve civilians and veterans in need. It is built on the philosophy that serving less fortunate members of civilian and veteran communities brings people together.
Prince: That’s wonderful man! Now I had a chance to go on your personal website and I saw your moniker “The Good Sheppard.” Tell me the story behind that.
Sheppard: (Laughing) It first started when I was coaching women’s basketball at Ohio State University. A newspaper headline read, “Players Flock to Sheppard.” When I was young, people used to make fun of my last name, now after helping players become better, my last name is viewed as a positive thing. I began to realize that my last name was no coincidence and it was given to me for a reason. It is a blessing that my name is Sheppard.
Prince: Wow. That is very cool! Now here is my last question before we end our conversation. Tell me what do you want people to remember when you leave this earth?
Sheppard: That I tried my best to help people. That’s it!
Prince: [Pause] Okay–straight to the point (laughing).
Prince: Well thank you again Mr. Sheppard. Thank you for your time, and for the wonderful works that you have done for our city of San Diego.
Sheppard: No problem; but I give glory to God. God was the one who planned this for me, and I feel that I’m just part of His plan.
Prince: (laughing) I know. And I also feel that it was part of God’s plan to meet with you and interview you (Smiling)
Prince: Thanks again and have a great day!
Sheppard: You too.
Youtube: Sean Sheppard’s Acceptance Speech at SAAB’S 8TH Annual Signature Program (Feb 2013)
Prince’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8AtjbOvJXIRf_P44y_Es3w