Many child athletes dream of making it to the pros one day. For Super Bowl winner Tony Banks that dream came true but it did not happen over night and not without hard work and dedication. "I want these kids to know that I'm nobody special--I didn't do anything special. I came from a single parent home with not a lot of money in the house and was still able to get out," Banks told Action 4 News on Wednesday. "I had a vision for my life." That vision has helped Banks become the man he is today--and he said that is what he wants for others. "I want these kids to understand that they can start now...it's never to late," said Banks. "For the younger kids its never to early. If they can embrace that, then maybe one day out of a week they look in the mirror and say I'm going to do something great.... then my job is done." Now, Banks speaks to kids all over the United States using the "STAR" method -- Stop, Think, Act and Replay.
The STAR mentors program is in over 900 schools across the Nation and is a chance for former professional athletes or coaches to be matched with a district and help mentor kids.
During his talk, Banks stressed the importance of an education if you want to succeed. "You don't need college, necessarily, to be wealthy," said Banks. "You don't have to go to college to be wealthy but if you don't go to college you probably won't be wealthy. College isn't for everybody...if you take advantage of your time in high school you're going to have a lot more opportunities if you didn't." Donna ISD superintendent Roberto Loredo said to have people like Banks come out and mentor kids, who need that extra push, is a rewarding experience--not only for the students but also the district. "We want them to make the right decisions to have a good future," Loredo said. In the end, Banks said, it is not about the car you drive or how much money you have, it is about staying true to yourself and with that you will succeed. For more information on this program you can log on to www.learningthroughsports.com.