Curtis Martin and Aralessa Davis Bush
Curtis Martin, born May 1, 1973 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a running back for the New York Jets, until he retired in 2007. Martin is an alumnus of Taylor Allderdice high School and the University of Pittsburgh.
Martin entered the NFL in 1995 as a third round draft pick of the New England Patriots. Martin won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and was named to the Pro Bowl. The following year, the Patriots went to Super Bowl XXXI. Martin rushed for 42 yards, caught 3 passes for 28 yards, and scored a touchdown in the game. After the 1997 season he signed with the New York Jets. Martin won the NFL rushing title in the 2004 NFL season with 1,697 yards. He also won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year Award in 2004. Martin went to 5 Pro Bowls.
Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first 10 professional seasons, a feat previously accomplished only by Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith. On November 6, 2005, he scored his 100th career touchdown, joining an elite group of only 16 players to do so. Martin is currently 4th on the all-time rushing yardage list, and on November 27, 2005, in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints, he became the 4th running back in NFL history, behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders, to pass the 14,000-yard rushing mark.
Aralessa Davis Bush was born and raised in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, the youngest of five children. She is married to Joseph J. Bush. Mrs. Bush is a graduate of Duquesne High School and Wilberforce University of Ohio, where she received a bachelor of science degree in teaching. She furthered her studies for certification at California University of Pennsylvania.
In 1964, she was the first black teacher to be hired in the Duquesne Public School system. Her most rewarding experience teaching has been the love and respect she has received from each child. She stays in touch with many of her former third grade students, many of whom now have their own children. In June 1997, she reitred from teaching after 33 years of service. Her motto is “To teach is to touch a life forever.”
Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Bush is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Zeta Chapter. She is also a member of the Wilberforce Univeristy Alumni Association’s Duquesne chapter. Ms. Bush serves on the City of Duquesne Planning Committee. In 1993-1994 she was named the Duquesne Public School system’s Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Bush is an active member of Payne Chapel A. M. E. Church in Duquesne, the Stewardess Board, and the Alma A. Polk Missionary Society.
Mrs. Bush’s encouraging words to the present and future generations are: “Believe in yourself and follow your dreams to the fullest. Don’t let them go. Hold fast to them. Always remember you can do anything you set your mind to, your heart and your desires. Never say ‘I can’t do it.’ Always say ‘I can do it.’ Be very positive about yourself.”