UFC star Urijah Faber hands out lunches, advice to Hiram Johnson students
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) champion accepts invitation from teens to visit the campus
Urijah “The California Kid” Faber, one of the most popular MMA fighters in the world and current star of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), visited Hiram Johnson High School last Wednesday to encourage students to eat healthy foods and study hard.
Faber, who said he once lived near Johnson on 73rd Street, was invited to visit the campus by 106 students in teacher Peter Vidovich’s English classes. The students wrote Faber letters as part of a persuasive writing assignment.
Four students delivered the letters in person to Faber’s downtown gym. Senior Delilah Soto, one of the four, said the students focused on Faber because he is a positive role model for many teens.
“We’re trying to bring light to our school in a positive manner so kids in our neighborhood will benefit,” she said.
During his visit, Faber told a crowd of seniors and sophomores that the letters were “really cool.”
“I was touched by your letters and I like that you’re working toward eating healthier and working hard to be positive people.” He said he wrote a letter to a wrestling camp when he was in eighth grade asking if he could wash dishes in lieu of paying tuition, which his family couldn’t afford. The camp agreed.
“It’s awesome to be able to give that back.”
A graduate of UC Davis, Faber also encouraged Johnson students to concentrate on getting into college despite fears about tuition costs. “There is a way that everyone here can go to college,” he said. “You’ve got to believe that.”
The face of Pepsi’s AMP energy drink and part owner of a clothing company called Torque (www.torque1.net), Faber also advised students to pursue their dreams no matter how difficult that may be. As a young man, he worked long hours at part-time jobs as he followed his ambition to be an MMA star.
“It wasn’t about being a tough guy,” he said. “It was about being a persistent guy.”
After his comments, Faber helped serve lunch to Johnson students and posed for photographs.