2002 Flame of Hope Award

Darrell Green

Mr. Green is known for his accomplishments both on and off the football field. He was a seven-time, All-Pro defensive back with the Washington Redskins and a four-time winner of the NFL Fastest Man Competition. He was the top draft choice in 1983, and since then he has played in three Super Bowls. 

Fifteen years after leaving Texas A&I University, Mr. Green finished his college education. In 1998, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. In 1999, Marymount University recognized Mr. Green for his extraordinary humanitarian endeavors and awarded him an honorary degree. 

Mr. Green has a passion to see that children grow up in vibrant, secure, and stable environments. To that end, he established the not-for-profit Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation in 1988. The foundation opens doors of opportunity for boys and girls whose family lives and circumstances limit their chance to lead educated, moral, well-adjusted lives. The foundation’s charge for all who support it is: “Nurture the family, heal the family, and rebuild the community.” 

This work is accomplished by community-based and values-driven learning centers operating in selected urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods throughout America. These learning centers train and equip our youth to be leaders who are educationally, morally and technically excellent. 

The first Youth Life Learning Center was established in 1993 in northeast Washington, D.C., and already has established a record of academic excellence and positive behavioral changes among its students. The center has 35 to 40 students at all times, and each student spends two to four hours at the center each day. During their time at the learning center, instructors monitor their school work, often providing one-on-one tutoring, school or college placement counseling, job training counseling, computer skill training, and the students participate in specialized learning labs. Additionally, youngsters are mentored as part of their moral training, and they participate in family activities as part of family development. 

In conjunction with the center in Washington, D.C., the foundation has established centers in Berryville, Virginia, Greenville and Durham North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, the foundation has established a National Training Institute to teach others how to establish a Youth Life Foundation and how to operate a Youth Life Learning Center. 

The Youth Life Foundation reflects the moral leadership, self-discipline, intensity, and integrity of its founder, All-Pro Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green. The foundation also manifests his commitment to the city of Washington, D.C., where he has lived and worked for nearly 20 years.