Who Mentored Darrell Green?
Watch public service announcements featuring Darrell Green in support ofNational Mentoring Month.
Darrell 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.
Darrell Green served as the Chair of The President’s 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 most important.
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 possibilities.
I 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.