If football didn't work out, Browns safety Ed Reynolds II knew his degree from Stanford would open so many other doors. Offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano said he went to Harvard for the same reason, knowing one of the world's best universities would set him up for life. Defensive lineman Xavier Cooper is working on getting his master's degree and MBA.
That idea of having a backup plan was part of a wide-ranging message the trio of Browns players brought to the Ginn Academy on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of academics, community, citizenship and leadership in and outside of the classroom.
"When you wake up in the morning, you have a positive outlook, you have a chance to change your circumstance and that's what all the football players from the Browns have done," Cooper said.
"Obviously that's why we're successful and we're trying to give back to them, understand that they can change their circumstances but it starts with a positive attitude and obviously they have that positive environment here at the Ginn Academy "
Founded in 2007 by legendary high school football coach Ted Ginn Sr., Ginn Academy is the only all-male public high school in Ohio with more than 450 students and an average graduation rate of 93 percent.
The primary core values of their education are based on scholarship, leadership and service. The Ginn Academy aims to educate its students through experience and exposure, including internships and shadowing opportunities.
"I thought it was important to come out to the Ginn Academy to show them that there's men who have been in their position who have been successful," Cooper said, "and that we can come back and give them advice from our journey to help them be successful because the whole goal is we want them to be better men than us."
Xavier Cooper, Anthony Fabiano, and Ed Reynolds visited freshmen at Ginn Academy to talk about education and leadership. #give10
Ginn Academy was also founded on the premise of staffing life coaches, who are supported by Browns Give Back. The life coaches are an integral dynamic of the Ginn Academy, serving as a 24/7 mentor and providing a link between home and school. In that capacity, they address the needs of students in the areas of academics, behavior, attendance, and social emotional development. The support at Ginn Academy is one of several education-focused community partners supported by Browns Give Back that has identified early learning, school attendance and college and career readiness as their core focus areas. Browns Give Back strategically dedicates their time and education grant dollars towards removing barriers and creating opportunities for children and youth in Northeast Ohio so all students, regardless of background, have access to a high-quality education.
Each student is assigned to a life coach who acts as role model, advisor and counselor and stays with students during their four years at the Academy.
As part of Browns Give Back, the Browns are continuing their commitment to #give10 through the team's signature First and Ten volunteering campaign during the offseason after engaging the community throughout the season each Tuesday on the players' day off.
Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign was established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year.
Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. Fans are encouraged to share how they give back in their communities by tagging their stories #give10 on social media.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Cleveland Browns give back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.