Scrolling through the Washington Commanders website, I stumbled upon a video from a baby-faced rookie version of the now superstar Terry McLaurin. He was a player who exuded intelligence and confidence from the time he was drafted, and in this video it really shows. He is talking about the Youth Entrepreneurs program that used to be associated with the Washington Redskins organization, but is still going strong today.
Youth Entrepreneurs, I just — something that was brought to me to help partner with, not only them, but the Redskins. I thought it was a unique opportunity for myself to get a taste of giving back to the community and helping a program where I felt like I really could enjoy myself partnering with. Youth Entrepreneurs is a program that allows teachers and youth to work together to create a curriculum that is very conducive to future endeavors for young people. Whether it’s in class or whether it’s college preparatory. The Youth Entrepreneurship program is really set up to allow teachers to enable their students any way they see fit. It’s not any cost to them to be able to prepare them for life.
I feel like the reason I really gravitated to Youth Entrepreneurs is because there’s so many different ways you can start a business or become an entrepreneur, but you can’t do that without the skillsets and the tools given to you by the teachers, and the supporting cast around you. So I feel like every great entrepreneur in this country had an opportunity to where they learned from somebody, where they were in a program or some kind of internship that really spring-boarded them into their future endeavors. I feel like that’s what Youth Entrepreneurs does.
I was a kid who really aspired to play in the NFL, but I also knew how important education was, and that’s why I tried to graduate in 3 1/2 years at Ohio State, did some internships. I wanted to be a really well-rounded human being, and the teachers that impacted my life helped me do that. They allowed me to be somebody who was intrigued, asked a lot of questions, but they also nurtured my thirst for learning. Every team that I’ve been on up to this point, from pee wee to now, I’ve kind of been a captain, or the person who does the prayer. Things like that, so I was never like I put myself in a position to be a leader, however I think some people gravitate to my work ethic, the way I carry myself, the team person I try to be. Adversity is the number one thing, it’s how you respond to it. Whether you’re in football, business, whatever walks of life, you’re going to run into some type of adversity. I hope I can get that message across to kids. That doesn’t mean you give up on your dreams. Because your dreams are really what keeps you going. You just need some help along the way to help you keep pushing to get that goal.
McLaurin laid out a lot of valuable life lessons for a then 24-year-old graduate from Ohio State who had been drafted by an NFL team in the third round. McLaurin has always been lauded for his work ethic and maturity and it shines through in this interview about a subject he seemed genuinely interested in.
Youth Entrepreneurs has many different organizations throughout the country that help students and teachers work together to prepare them for the challenges of the future. Responsibility, Integrity, Knowledge, Freedom, Passion, Opportunity, Sound Judgement, and a Win-Win focus are their 8 foundational principles, and fit with Terry McLaurin’s interview from 2019.