Running back Le'Veon Bell knows how important it is to have someone to lean on, someone who has 'been there, done that' to get advice from.
Growing up he went through the ups and downs, the growing pains all kids and teens go through. But he always had someone there to support him, someone to steer him in the right direction.
Le'Veon Bell and a group of student-athletes from Woodland High School gather at the Capital Grille for a special dinner.
Now he wants to be the one steering individuals in the right direction, and got that started on Tuesday night with The Bell's Boy Initiative.
The leadership and mentoring program will focus on providing advice and encouragement to Pittsburgh-area high school students, with the goal to help them start planning for their future and teach and demonstrate the principles of manhood. Bell's kicking things off with his first 'class,' a group of 10 Woodland High School student-athletes.
"I know what it's like to be a kid and not fortunate to have access to a lot of things," said Bell. "I want to teach them the ropes, tell them my story and help make their life be a little easier."
Bell treated the group to dinner at The Capital Grille in Pittsburgh, a two-fold purpose of introducing them to fine dining while at the same time getting to know them on a personal basis and learn about what their goals are.
"I want to have them enjoy the dinner, but I also want to have the time to interact with them," said Bell. "Spending time together, teaching them the ropes. Help them understand the things that I went through. I know they will go through some of the same things I did when I was younger and help those kids overcome adversity."
Bell will host the group at the Steelers-Browns game at Heinz Field on Nov. 15 as well, something he knows that might not otherwise get to experience.
"I am excited for that," said Bell. "As a kid I went to one NFL game and that changed my life. From there on out I knew I wanted to play in this league. It really changed my life."