Finding guidance at home

It's not unusual for people to look for a mentor away from your inner circle, someone a bit removed from your day-to-day life to give you the guidance you need.

But for Trey Edmunds, he didn't have to look far at all to find his mentors.

It's Edmunds' parents, Ferrell and Felecia Edmunds, who have provided him guidance throughout his life and recently shared what they meant to him with the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania (MPSWPA) in celebration of January being National Mentoring Month.

"A lot of people along my journey were helpful and guided me and helped me get to this point," said Edmunds. "Two people who really stuck out were my mother and my father. My mother and father saw fit to be hands on in my development and growth at an early age."

Ferrell Edmunds, who also played in the NFL, always insisted on driving Trey and his two brothers, Steelers' safety Terrell and Bills' linebacker Tremaine, to school every day.

"That was his time to talk to us and be more in depth in conversations," said Edmunds. "When you come home from school you play, do homework, the time goes fast. The drive to school was instrumental to us because we formed a father-son relationship. He was our coach too. That time helped grow our relationship.

"Since he played football in the league, he was able to give me first-hand tips," said Edmunds. "He was able to let me know things before I had to experience them for myself. Some of the mistakes he made early on he let us know so we didn't have to make them."

It wasn't just dad, though, who had the impact.

"My mom also made it a prerogative to be personal in our growth," said Edmunds. "We would go on vacation, and when we stopped, we would work out. We would stop at a gas station and get out of the car and do jumping jacks. If we would pass a high school, we would get out and run laps around the track. She asked us at an early age if we wanted to make it to the pros. We said yes. They made sure we put the work in, and we are truly grateful now.

"They were representatives of who we are and helped us get to the point we are now."

Edmunds knows how lucky he is, that not every kid has that type of input and support from their parents. He never takes it for granted.

"It's special for me to have my mentors right there," said Edmunds. "I have parents who have been through the things I went through in the athletic world and academic world and trying to balance both. I am blessed to have been in the position I was in growing up.

"I try to tell them every time I get how much they mean to me, the sacrifices they made early on."

The Steelers relationship with the Mentoring Partnership is one that has been in effect since the organization's inception, as late Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney Sr. was the founding chairman. The bond has remained and for players like Edmunds he wants to continue to encourage people to search for good mentors, as well as be one himself.

"Don't limit yourself on where you look for a mentor," said Edmunds. "It can be right in your own house, a teacher, someone you are close to. You meet so many people in your journey, to have someone in your household, someone who is raising you, it's incredible to have that.

"A lot of times we think we can do it on our own, but in reality, we all need help. Everyone needs help, needs some advice, someone to lean on. I think it's essential for everybody to have someone. I think that is one of the best things in the world and it's my duty now to give back in the same manner and help some of the young people the way some of my mentors helped me."