Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins and linebacker Keenan Robinson on Monday participated in "Males Make A Difference Day" at Capitol Heights (Md.) Elementary School, speaking to an all-male student assembly about life goals.
Male role models can make a huge difference on a young boy's life.
On Monday afternoon, Washington Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins and linebacker Keenan Robinson participated in Capitol Heights (Md.) Elementary School's "Males Make A Difference Day."
Hopkins and Robinson were the final two speakers of a group of male guests who come from a wide range of backgrounds – from a Papa John's store owner to military members – to discuss their upbringings and their daily tasks.
The purpose on the event was to inform the young boys that while they should certainly aspire to obtain their dreams, even if those dreams are to be a professional athlete, having a "Plan B" is needed, too.
There are also a few universal rules everyone should follow, regardless of where they are going in life.
"What was important to me back then, and what's still important to me now is being respectful to my elders, being respectful to my parents, being respectful to people who are put in charge," Robinsons told the students. "Being respectful to those who are telling me what I'm supposed to be doing."
Robinson told the students a story about him being a class clown of sorts growing up.
He said he "always loved to joke around," not realizing the consequences of always trying to get his classmates' attention.
"The teachers laughed, but at the same time, I was hurting myself because I wasn't being respectful to the teachers, I wasn't paying attention in class," he said. "So my mom came to school one day, she spoke to the principal, spoke to the teachers and was like, 'How can we get him to pay attention, be respectful to teachers, and not be in trouble, not be class clown?' And for a week, she sat me down, said 'Son, Keenan, you've got to do better in school. You're respectful at home, you have to respect you teachers. When I'm not around, they're in charge of you. So when you guys are in school and your parents aren't around, teachers are the ones who are supposed to be in charge of you, so you have to respect them."
Hopkins, meanwhile, said that there is honor to be earned in every walk of life.
"Whether you're a bus driver, a principal, in the military, or whatever you're doing, know that there's honor in that job," he said. "And that you inspire to be those things too. That's amazing, that's great."
The two players then fielded questions from the students, mostly about favorite childhood memories, books and friendships. But they all centered upon one common theme: staying focused in school.
"Education is very important," Robinson said. "For me, growing up, even though I was a class clown, I always tried to achieve and excel in school. I was blessed to be able to be good at reading and math. So sometimes school came easier than most. I think that's one of the reasons why I get bored sometimes and joke around. But when my mom had that talk with me, I became more serious because there comes a point in time when you got to get over it."
After a group photo, Hopkins left the students with one final message.
"I think the golden rule is treat others the way you want to be treated," he said.