Many of the students at Helen Bernstein High come from Los Angeles’ toughest neighborhoods with gangs, drugs and broken families. About 81% of the school’s students rely on the free lunch program.
“The No. 1 thing they lack is love. They have so much pain and anger and sadness inside,” Masaki Matsumoto, the football coach at Helen Bernstein High in Los Angeles, says of his players.
Matsumoto tried to at least ease some of the pain and let his players know they were loved. In the summer of 2013, he asked the parents of his players to write handwritten letters to their children, telling them how much they loved them, how much they are cared for and why they matter.
The results are inspiring and extend well beyond the football field.
ESPN and reporter Chris Connelly will chronicle Bernstein and the impact of the letters during E:60 on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET).
Based on the trailer above, have the tissues handy.