NFL former player, Chris Draft empowers kids to find inner resources to find their strengths, accept their limitations and make the best of themselves regardless of what people might say or think.”

Growing up as an African-American in Orange County, California presented its own challenges for Chris Draft. He discovered early on that certain stereotypes about young black men caused people to make assumptions about him, such as that he was a poor student and was likely to get into fights. When he was accepted by Stanford, one of the most academically competitive universities in the country, he discovered there were people around him who did not realize he had taken honors classes throughout high school. “Everyone, regardless of their racial makeup or other circumstances, faces the assumptions and expectations people have about them. Even if they lack external encouragement, kids need to find inner resources with which they can find their strengths, accept their limitations and make the best of themselves regardless of what people might say or think.”

When Chris speaks with young people, he emphasizes to them his own high expectations of them. “I try to help them find their game plan and let them know that I expect greatness from them,” he said. At the same time, he makes it clear to the young people he counsels that their messages of affirmation have to come from within and not just from outside, and this is true regardless of a person’s race, creed or economic status. The cold reality, as he explains it, is that young, poor black males like those he often meets with cannot expect to meet with large reserves of encouragement. “I was out in L.A. recently talking to some kids, and I said, ‘Don’t think there are going to be a whole bunch of people cheering for you. You guys are from the projects, you know that the expectations of what you are going to do is not going to be that high. So what you’re going to do is make it up in your mind that regardless of what they say, you’re going to make it.’”

Read more of his story here ==> http://www.theinsightfulplayer.com/2010/09/21/chris-draft/

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