Duck Richards gives words of encouragement to high school students
Griffin Daily News
Griffin Grasshoppers founder Alan "Duck" Richards (far left) poses with, from left, Douglas Award recipient Yamika Givens, Stephanie Douglas and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas last week during the Perry Learning Center's Honor's Night Celebration at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. (Submitted photo)
JONESBORO — Griffin Grasshoppers Association Founder/Director and Head Coach Alan “Duck” Richards provided an inspirational keynote speech to the ceremony as he encouraged the students to further their sucess from the Perry Learning Center, a learning institute for high school students, during the center’s Honor’s Night held at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center on May 14. The Honor’s Night program recognized several Perry Learning Center students and their families as they received various awards, both academic and personal, for their hard work and service to the center.
“I’m always honored to be a part of anything that pertains to kids, especially when it comes to their education,” Richards said.
Richards, a Griffin native who’s also General Manager and Head Coach of the American Basketball Association’s Atlanta Aliens, encouraged students to “reach for the stars” in all their endeavors. He gave the students four major keys to achieving their own dreams, which included education, positive associations, goal-setting and persistence.
“I told the students that they can achieve anything they put their minds to in this world. I came back from a horrific car accident years ago and was able to found the Grasshoppers and achieve all my coaching goals in basketball,” Richards said. “Young people have to learn how to overcome adversity. We all have erred. Nothing is impossible, just have faith, believe and remain focused.”
Richards finished out his speech with a strong message to the students: “You may have done what they say you have done, but you are NOT who they say you are.”
One of the center’s shining stars was senior Yamika Givens, who received special recognition and congratulations from the center’s CTAE Department and earned three technical college certificates from Atlanta Technical College. Givens continued to receive recognition for her hard work at the Perry Center, as she won the Harry Douglas Award which was personally presented by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, a Jonesboro native.