We had the good fortune of connecting with Hassan Fuller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hassan, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m originally from the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. At the age of 17, I joined the U.S. Army and retired after 20 years of service in 2018. Received my Bachelors degree from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. Moved to Georgia in 2018 and used my time volunteering at the Hapeville Recreation center. In 2021 I have started graduate school at Georgia State University and now work part time at the Hapeville recreation center. With all that being said, I grew up poor and got to see how kids in poverty have lack of resources and worst of all lack of resources that other children have in their communities. The reason I volunteer is to give back to the community and let kids know that not only do someone care about them, but there is someone who can introduce them to recreational and educational resources that their parents may not know about.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Life is somewhat like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. The thing I have learned is, when u hit those downward spirals, just try to stay positive and find someone to talk to. Mental health is a huge part of our lives and making it through those bad times requires you to stay positive and not throw a pity party. In the Army, they use to say stop feeling sorry for yourself and I mostly agree with that statement. I do believe that you should have a time to reflect and feel bad but not dwell on it for long than a day or two.

What I think set me apart when I’m dealing with children is the fact that they know I care about them. I coach basketball and baseball and all my kids know that I care about them more than I care about winning a game. This trickles down to the parents who refer other parents to bring their kids to play for me and that means a lot. In a world where they have tried to turn youth sports into a super competitive place for kids, I like to keep the competitive edge without putting so much emphasis on winning. Instead I put emphasis on the process of working hard sand eventually the results will take care of themselves. If you can teach kids to work hard and not feel entitled, it will go a long way

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being older, I spend most of my time either at school or at the recreation center. So if someone was coming down on a Friday, I would take them to a high school football game, started at take them to some recreation football games, Sunday we would probably go to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch some football games. I would tell them to visit little five points for great shopping and eating, visit the civil rights museum, ride the Ferris wheel downtown and then take a day to recover

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that has helped me along the way. My mother always pushed me to do whatever I wanted to. When it was very taboo to join the military my friends back home were very important especially Edmond who is my best friend (he also married my cousin). The city of Hapeville especially the Hapeville recreation center has made my post military life so fulfilling by allow me to volunteer and work there

Instagram: Haz_bk

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hassan-fuller-798b3650

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bkny.black

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