Rashied + Dianna
Meet the man behind the place.
A child of nine raised by his aunt and mother after his father’s death, Rashied was born into a world defined by obstacles. Growing up in a poor neighborhood in South Central L.A., he couldn’t see beyond the inner-city walls. He idolized gang members. He lost sight of his future.
It took a school bus to an upper-middle class neighborhood and a couple of dedicated teachers to help Rashied see that there was hope beyond his neighborhood. Those teachers enrolled him in speech competitions, took him on field trips, and showed him how to adapt and grow in new and different environments. They took the time to learn how to teach him.
That first bus ride out of town led to Rashied’s enrollment in junior college, admission to San Jose State University, and a career in the NFL. But Rashied makes it clear that “football is what I do, it’s not who I am.” That’s why he started Saturday Place.
Rashied’s vision for Saturday Place starts with his story of overcoming the obstacles of growing up in a poor community. The program’s structure was inspired by influential moments in Rashied’s life, recreated for kids who are starting out the way he did. Saturday Place is a way to show them that anything worth having is worth working hard for, and also worth waiting for. He wants to give kids that first bus ride to a better future.
Education is number one in her book.
Dianna Lilly-Davis is more than Rashied’s devoted wife—she’s Rashied’s sideline coach. From a young age, Dianna and her two sisters understood the value of perseverance. Dianna spent her school years in the library and on the softball field, working her way toward a scholarship to San Jose State University where she met her future husband. Her dedication carried through to her marriage as she supported Rashied’s NFL dream by working three jobs to keep food on the table. Soon enough, Rashied earned a spot with the Chicago Bears. Together, they created their future.
Dianna continues to support Rashied in his charitable pursuits as a strong partner of Saturday Place. She shares Rashied’s vision of giving kids the hope they need to arrive at the future they deserve.