“Face your fears and greatness is on the other side.”
It was one of many powerful messages former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Super Bowl champion Michael Clayton delivered to at-risk youth residing in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties on May 2.
The participants, ages 11-21, are enrolled in Eckerd Kids Project Bridge program, which assists young men and women on juvenile probation as they transition back into the community.
Clayton, a dedicated monitor, spoke to the group about overcoming adversity, the importance of standing by your principals, and what it means to be a man.
“I think it really made an impact,” said Transition Coordinator Marvin Mouzon. “The youth could relate to what Michael had to overcome at such a young age.”
The room was quiet as they listen to his words, but all eyes remained focused on Clayton as he discussed his most defining moments: like being a 7-year-old boy faced with tackling the biggest kid on the football team, or being released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading to a short stint with the UFL.
“It was straight,” said a 15-year-old participant. “I liked it. I am going to Google Michael Clayton when I get home.”
The May 2nd discussion was hosted at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.