Students from Ginn Academy had a career day at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea.
Students from the Ginn Academy descended upon the Browns' Berea facility for something of a career fair.
High school juniors from the school toured the building Tuesday afternoon, meeting with the club's front office staff members across different departments. They ended the day with a mock interview with cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who offered a powerful message to the group about growing up in Wilmington, Delaware, and his journey to the NFL as an undrafted free agent.
"I've just been dealing with adversity my whole life," he said, "and a lot of things that happen to you — you think you're not meant to get through it — but if you're already going through it, you'll get through it."
To illustrate that point, Boddy-Calhoun spoke of a run-in with police as a teenager and how, at the time, he believed it would jeopardize his hopes of playing professional football someday.
"I'm a firm believer that experiences are the best teacher," he said. "I was in crime-infested neighborhood … I did a lot of my learning on the streets, got in trouble, just being around the wrong people." After the incident, Boddy-Calhoun said he "surrounded myself with the right people, got around the right mentors and did what I had to do to get where I wanted to go."
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.
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.
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 fanbase, 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.