Jaguars strong safety Donovin Darius, 26, spoke to approximately 450 7th and 8th graders on April 10 at Eugene Butler Middle School.
Darius, who frequently speaks at area schools, motivated students with a talk about making responsible choices and having to live with the consequences of the decisions you make each day, good or bad.
"Be a leader," said Darius. "There are people out there that will try and drag you down, lead you into negative consequences – those people are dream breakers. Don't let them discourage you.
"I am the person I am today because of the hard times I went through growing up. Those experiences made me stronger.
"Dream makers are the people that want to help you, encourage you -- people like your parents, your teachers, your friends. Those are the people you want to be around," he said.
Darius' talk concluded when 8th grade student Demorise Cole, who is working toward a future in law enforcement, joined him on stage for a brief demonstration.
Using a white towel, Darius asked Demorise to hold onto his towel that represented his dreams. In a moment the student did not anticipate, Darius snatched the towel from his hands, explaining that when you least expect it, someone may try and steal your dreams.
Following some laughter, Darius gave him a second chance, and Demorise tightly gripped the towel during a brief tug of war.
Darius thanked the students for the opportunity to speak with them, then signed several Jaguars souvenirs for display at the school.