Entrepreneur and former Philadelphia Eagle Jason Avant visits CRHS Business Academy
The Cumberland Regional High School Business Academy recently welcomed guest speaker Jason Avant, entrepreneur and former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles. Avant shared with CRHS students and teachers insight into his life experiences and path to owning Launch Trampoline Park locations in Deptford and Delran, as well as his plans to expand the businesses.
Avant shared background on the challenges he faced during his childhood in Chicago, from worrying if the lights would be on at home and heating his house by opening the oven, to walking through gang territory. His early experiences, he said, taught him the vital importance of saying no to the dangers of the streets. Football opened doors to the University of Michigan, where he gained eye-opening experience and began developing the vision of owning a business that would support children in making positive memories.
During his career with the NFL, Avant recognized the need to expand his plans beyond his football-playing years and began to strategize on breaking into the entertainment and recreation industry through the Launch franchise. He explained that, as in life, the "playmakers" in the NFL are those individuals who will win and be successful despite all evidence stacked against them; players like Julio Jones or Odell Beckham Jr. may be plotted against by the opposing team's defensive coordinator and may not always have the most skilled teammates to rely on, yet when given the chance they will succeed and come down with the ball. Using this as a metaphor for life, you can choose to make excuses and accept defeat, or you can decide to be a playmaker who believes you will succeed, he said.
Avant generously answered questions from Business Academy students, touching on many skills taught in the academy curriculum including job shadowing, laws and standards, customer service, day-to-day abilities, and career readiness skills. As a business owner, he stressed the importance of time commitment and attention to feedback from customers. He also emphasized the importance of having happy and fulfilled workers on your team by planning ways for them to make connections to each other and by building loyalty to the workplace.
Avant shared that he has plans to expand Launch to locations in Delaware and possibly Pennsylvania, among other ventures. In closing, he advised the students to live their lives with vigor, passion, hunger, and fire, while being open to using challenges to propel you forward.
CRHS thanks Jason Avant for visiting Cumberland Regional and also thanks CRHS teacher Erica Fox for making the connection with him, as well as Business Academy Leader Dwayne Hendricks and FBLA Adviser Christine Fuller for preparing students for the visit and arranging the presentation.