Stephens, Jr., Jolly - 2007

Jolly L. Stephens, Jr. is a 1960 graduate of Savannah State University. He played on the institution’s football team and started every game on offense and defense from 1955- 60. He was selected All-Conference guard in 1956 and 1957. In his professional career, Stephens was a physical education teacher in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System for thirty years. He was also the athletic director of Bethlehem Community Center, an inner city program serving disadvantaged youth. In 1971, Stephens’ dream of establishing a teen center was realized. The center served more than 300 teens Monday through Saturday and was open from 6 p.m. to midnight, in order to keep teens off the streets and have meaningful activities to enjoy. All of the youth teams Jolly coached, both boys and girls, achieved championship status. Stephens was also a certified basketball and football official for 45 years. He was the leader in establishing the first playground for the Liberty City-Richfield-Southover community. Stephens held leadership roles in many community activities and has received many honor for his involvement. Still, his greatest reward was making a difference for the betterment in the lives of the youth of Savannah.

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