Black-owned Sanford nonprofit champions student athletes on and off the field

Tevin Mclaughlin runs Speed Academy in Sanford

SANFORD, Fla. – This Black History Month News 6 is highlighting a Sanford track coach who is using his own success to get results for student athletes.

Tevin Mclaughlin, 26, moved to Central Florida from Jamaica with his family more than a decade ago.

He now runs a nonprofit called Speed Academy in Sanford, where he motivates young athletes on and off the track. Some of his training is done at Stay Ready Health and Fitness Gym run by Corey Williams.

He told News 6 he’s helped several young athletes go to college on scholarships.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

“We focus on doing a lot of workshops in terms of how to get to college, how to set proper goals in life,” Mclaughlin said.

He added Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would say “he’s very proud” of the work the nonprofit is doing.

“For him to say I have a dream and I’m now pursuing mine, it’s very humbling,” Mclaughlin said. “For me, growing up in Jamaica and moving here and understanding my history and how Black history has changed our lives, it’s huge to see how my life has been impacted by those people.”

He said his goal is simply to inspire the athletes he work with.

“My goal for them is that when they are accomplished and (have) achieved everything, that they’ll pay it forward to other athletes,” he said.

One of his students, 18-year-old Amari Turner, is doing just that and on a mission each day to be the best version of himself.

The Seminole High School teen currently has a 4.3 GPA and is headed to Harvard University in the fall on a full-ride scholarship.

He’s crediting his success in part to Mclaughlin, his trainer and coach.

“I can’t ask for a better coach,” Turner said. “Track is good, but you can’t run forever so you have to have an education.”

He said Mclaughlin is a big inspiration for him on and off the track. He also said he’s reminded this Black History Month about the many leaders who’ve paved the way for all of us.

“It’s remarkable to know that in my lifetime, I’ve experienced the first Black president, and seeing more people like him is what we need in this community,” Turner said.

He said Mclaughlin’s taught him the importance of hard work, imbuing the lesson that “nothing is going to be given to you easy.”

Tamel McKinney, Turner’s mom, said she’s proud of her son and reminded him this Black History Month not to forget the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.

“We all know that none of us would be where we are if it wasn’t for those who came before us,” McKinney said.

She added she’s forever grateful for Mclaughlin and mentors like him in the community.

Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below:

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.