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TRUST, aka Tomorrow’s Results Ultimately Starts Today, is an after-school initiative begun by cousins R.J. Simpson and Nick Wallery. After seeing the lack of activities for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pair began an exercise program in the park at the heart of the Candlelight Oaks neighborhood in Spring Hill in DeLand.

From 6 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, youngsters ages 5 to 19 can come play and exercise in group activities at 813 Longview Ave.

“It’s something for kids to do that isn’t [the video game] Fortnite or going into the streets,” Simpson said.

Simpson and Wallery are both locals, and felt the youth program was the least they could do.

“It’s about giving back,” Wallery said. “This is my area — I stay down the street.”

Simpson, the defense-line coach for the DeLand High School Bulldogs, and Wallery, a former professional basketball player, are both experienced at working with children.

Simpson is also president of the DeLand Dawgs, a competitive youth league that offers football, softball and cheerleading.

TRUST has been well-received by the neighborhood.

“We started with 12 kids on a Monday, and by Friday, we had 80,” Simpson said.

For more information, contact Wallery at (386) 320-2411, or email ewall44@yahoo.com.

— Eli Witek


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