Mentored Darrell Green?
Green is a four-time NFL Fastest Man, and two-time Super
Bowl Champion. Born in Houston, Texas, Darrell played
college football at Texas A&I University and was
drafted into the NFL. In 2002, Green retired after celebrating
20 consecutive seasons playing football with the Washington
Redskins. Green founded the Darrell
Green Youth Life Foundation (DGYLF), establishing
community-based, values-driven learning centers operating
in select urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods throughout
America for youth facing particular challenges.
Green served as the Chair of The
Presidents Council on Service and Civic Participation in 2003.
Well, I think one of the most important lessons I was
taught as a kid, as a child, was from my mom, who taught
us that above all things, doing the right thing is the
My dad was one who always encouraged, he was a born
encourager. He would tell my sister, "You're pretty.
You're beautiful." He would tell my brother, who
was really smart, "You're really smart." He
would tell me, "You're a great athlete. You're
a good guy." And he always encouraged us, always.
And so whenever we faced situations out there, we always
thought we could overcome them. There was nothing that
the Green boys and girls couldn't overcome. We heard
that all the time. All the time.
I had a coach who in a different way encouraged me that
I could be a great running athlete. I started track
in the tenth grade and football in the eleventh grade,
so that's pretty late. However, in middle school, where
I met this coach, he was always encouraging me to participate,
and I did. And so I think he helped me to identify the
possibilities, which--I never even thought about the
think real true success is when, yes, you have reached
the goal, reached yours, but it's how many others you
have helped along the way. When you give of yourself
in the mentoring process it's different than...I worked
and I got a check. It's a totally different feeling,
because it deals with a person's life. And it's almost
unexplainable, you know, the feeling or the sense that
you get when you have worked with young people as I
have for years. So much so that they went from little
kids--little baby girls if you look on our walls--to
college students and even students that I know are married
with children now. And you just know that that was it.
It's not how much money I had, how much they screamed
my name. When you look at that person, you feel a sense
that you have accomplished and fulfilled something that...it
has no equal. It has no equal. So I would encourage
everyone to take advantage of what I call the most awesome
privilege in all of human existence.