- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

LYNN, Mass. (AP) - Two-time Patriots Super Bowl winner Duron Harmon says he’s fulfilled one of the two big things on his bucket list.

Harmon, in Lynn addressing a group of children at The Gregg House, told students from the Pickering and Marshall middle schools, not to let anyone keep them from realizing their dreams. After all, his dreams certainly came true. And so can theirs, he said.

“When I was younger I wrote down that my goals were to make the NFL and buy Mom a car,” he told the middle school students, who listened intently. “Well, I’ve been in the NFL with a great team (and) won two Super Bowls. So my dreams have pretty much come true there.

However, he added, “I’m still working on getting the right car for Mom though.”

The Youth Mentoring Program at Gregg House meets every other Saturday, starting in February, and goes over issues such as respect and self-esteem, community service and the college application process.

“We’ve divided things up into different workshops, so the 12 kids from Lynn schools can work on subjects that are important for them,” said Kellie Rowe, Gregg House assistant director. “We have different workshops on respect, bullying, health and wellness . things that impact kids, especially of middle school age.”

Anaisha Foster, Shane Geezil and Romeo Francis of Marshall, and Kylee Barker and Gavin Kennedy (Pickering), were among those who gave Harmon their undivided attention as he told them of his journey from growing up in Maryland, moving on to Rutgers, and for the past four seasons, playing for coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

“We always have a good time at the Gregg House,” Francis said. “The activities are a lot of fun. They’re interesting, we get to meet a Patriot and we’re going to a basketball game too.”

“I’ve enjoyed coming to Gregg House, learning and making new friends.” Foster said. “Gregg House is definitely a wonderful learning experience for all the kids that come here. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is learning about respect - respect for others and for yourself.”

“The after school programs here are great, I’ve been coming here and I’ve made so many great friends, and the staff is great,” Geezil said. “One of the things I like the most about coming here is reading, I think that’s my favorite thing, I really like reading non-fiction.”

Said Kennedy, “I’ve been coming to Gregg House since I was five years old. And ever since I’ve been coming here I’ve loved the activities. The staff is excellent. I just really enjoy being here and exploring everything I can.

“It’s been awesome making new friends, learning, we have fun no matter what we do here, and I think fun is the key to success.”

“I’ve been coming here since I was five too, and I like everything we do here, I’m doing much better with my homework because the staff has helped me become a better student,” Barker said.

Rowe said that Harmon’s message of achievement through hard work is beneficial for the group.

“We’re glad that Duron came to talk about succeeding by putting in the work and the effort, being humble and respectful and helping your community, and how that can really take you places,” Rowe said.

Harmon reiterated that his message is to always believe in your dreams, and he also told the kids that academics are just as important as athletics.

“Basically the message to the kids is don’t let anybody tell you what you can and can’t do about your dreams. There are a lot of people out there who might not believe in you, but you’ve got to believe in yourself and do whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams,” Harmon said. “Other people can interpret your dreams and your goals, so don’t be influenced by others’ negativity. Always believe in yourself.”

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Information from: The (Lynn, Mass.) Daily Item, https://itemlive.com

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