Leonard Faison, junior, is a defensive back on the football team at Warner University.
Raised by a single mom in Sarasota, FL., Leonard is the oldest of three brothers.
“I would say I have always been a role model for my younger brothers because I was always more of a father figure to them since my dad wasn’t really there,” said Leonard. “I kind of grew up fast because my mom would be at work and I would take my brothers to practice.”
Sometimes life for Leonard got difficult and frustrating.
“I always had faith in God, but it wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. During my struggles I would question ‘Why is this happening to me? Why God?’”
Leonard got his start to football through a friend, a start that would lead him to a deeper Christ-filled path.
“I started playing football in eighth grade when my friend introduced me to it, and I liked it, so I continued playing.”
Then a football coach from a certain school called Warner University came knocking.
“When I came to visit Warner I liked the atmosphere of the school and the people were nice,” Leonard said. “At the time I was really feeling like I needed to work on my faith, so with the university being a Christ based campus, it seemed like the perfect place for me to come.”
Warner has lived up to those expectations and promises to Leonard, as a place to help him grow and strengthen his faith in Christ.
“Karie [Harpest], Rodney [Dallas], and Lauren [Lightsey], have helped me a lot with my faith because I feel I can talk to them about anything,” said Leonard. “They have helped me through a lot of stuff because they are so easy to talk to.”
Student Life has been equally admiring of Leonard, not only as a work-study member for Student Life, but also as a student of Warner University.
“Leonard has been a positive addition to the Student Life Office because of his work ethic and attitude. He’s loyal, respectful, responsible and friendly–which makes him a standout student in my book,” said Director of Student Leadership and Community Engagement Karie Harpest.
“I’m blessed to be a part of Leonard’s journey here and I look forward to seeing how he’ll continue to grow.”
As a safety position in the defense lineup, Leonard is the leader of the defense, but feels there is a more important role on the team that goes beyond the sport alone.
“As an upperclassman, I want to help the freshmen feel like part of a family,” Leonard said. “The goal and what it’s all about is building a relationship with my teammates.”
Leonard is an Exercise and Sport Leadership major, so his future plans include being either a personal trainer, athletic trainer, or coaching youth sports.
“What I’ve learned so far on my journey is to keep God first and have faith even through struggles, knowing that God is helping you get through it. Coming to Warner has helped build that faith.”
The Warner community has faith in you Leonard, and we will continue to watch you flourish.