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Profiles in Progress: Education

We introduce you to a former NFL player with two Super Bowl rings, who now makes sure local children score big in the classroom.
NBC 6 celebrates Black History Month by highlighting people and programs which improve our community.

We introduce you to a former NFL player with two Super Bowl rings, who now makes sure local children score big in the classroom.

Meet Larry Anderson in this week's Profile in Progress.

Larry Anderson has a passion for helping children succeed.

You could say it runs in the family.
 
His mother was an educator, teaching children with special needs, as he was growing up in West Monroe.

"I  got to know children who were different from me but yet the same, children who just wanted love. And that drives me. Ii still want to show children love, show them that i'm concerned.  I want them to do well," said Anderson.

Now as the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance for Caddo Parish Schools, Anderson helps students who have made bad choices get back on track. He often shares his own story.

"I come from the same background that you come from,” Anderson tells the students.  “My mother and father didn't have much but I had a willingness to learn."

That willingness, combined with determination, hard work and talent, led him down a path many could only dream of.

The football coach from Louisiana tech asked Anderson to try out for the team.

"The last day that they could offer me a scholarship... it was just as school was opening at Tech, the coaching staff called me into the office and offered me a scholarship," Anderson said.

A successful career in college led to a successful career in the NFL, being drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"If I were a female, I would say it's a Cinderella story. To be a walk-on, to go from a walk-on, to playing,  being a fourth round draft pick and then on to play for seven years in the league... that's a pretty Cinderella-like story," reflected Anderson.

Instead of two glass slippers, he has two Super Bowl rings from his time with the Steelers in the late 70s.

He left the league in 1985, taking his talents to the classroom in 1986.

"When you have a background playing in the NFL and you come into the teaching profession as a coach,  you get the kids' attention pretty easy,” shared Anderson.  “The thing of it is, you gotta have something for them once you get their attention."

And he always does.

"I share with the students I come in contact with that if I can do it you can do it also,” encourages Anderson. “You just have to make up your mind."

Anderson says despite the negative news we often hear about Caddo Schools, there are many teachers who are passionate about their jobs and the children.

He says that's what it will take to turn things around: more educators who are completely dedicated to helping students through challenging times.


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