Hot off winning the school’s CAA conference championship in football, Old Dominion University’s Center Josh Mann took some time from his winter break to speak with fifth grades students at Holland Elementary School.
But, it wasn’t just sports talk.
Mann attended Plaza Middle School, a school that pulls students from Holland Elementary. As the fifth grade class is getting ready to transition to their middle school years, Mann talked to the students about making the right decisions on the field, in the classroom and at home.
“I’ve played with a lot of guys over the years,” Mann told the students. “I’ve played with a lot of great football players – much better than me. I’ve never been the best player on the team. But, some of them got bad grades, they acted like knuckleheads out of school and they can’t play football anymore…If you do make the right decisions, you can do whatever you want in life. “
Mann also encouraged the students to pursue the academic opportunities VB Schools provides students. In middle school, Mann graduated from Plaza’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. From there, he attended Ocean Lakes’ Math and Science Academy. Today, as a sophomore, Mann is an engineering major at ODU and maintains a 3.75 grade point average.
“Josh was a very good student and he made really good choices,” Crystal Colohan, Holland Elementary’s Gifted Resource Teacher who taught Mann when he was a student at Plaza Middle School, told the students as she introduced Mann. “(When I taught him), he was not far from where you are today and he still made those type of right choices.”
Again, Mann credited his success to having positive influences in his life for keeping him on the straight and narrow – a message he drove home to the students in order to encourage them to pick the right influences to hang out with as they move forward in school.
“I am lucky to have a lot of great friends who have kept me on the right track,” Mann said. “They definitely have helped me get where I am today. “
Following his talk, Mann took questions from the classes and then served as the guest of honor for a VIP lunch with students who were specially selected to eat with him.
Thanks to Josh Mann, and Holland Elementary, for this special event.