Denzel Washington, a winner of two Academy awards and 8 Oscar nominations, is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, getting his start in the scene in the 1980’s.
However, he’s actually worked longer with the Boys and Girls Club and has been a national spokesperson for the organization for the last 25 years.
Last week in Washington DC, Denzel met up with Malachi Haynes, the winner of their Youth Of The Year scholarship. During his chat with reporters from CBS News, Denzel talked about his long-time affiliation with the group.
According to the Training Day alum, the Boys and Girls Club provided him with a few of his first jobs. “I’ve been a member since I was five,” the actor remarked, adding that he was a “day camp counselor and a sleep-away counselor.”
The star explained he’s been there for 25 years and has worked every single job they have, so he’s become their national spokesperson. During his time in the club, he learned a lot of important values, so much so that he felt as though it was a second home.
According to Washington, he learned about how to compete, how to be a gracious winner or loser, how to get along with one’s peers, how to take instructions, and so on and so forth.
To him, it was always a fun and safe place to be. Additionally, some of his counselors taught him many different life lessons, including the difference between a natural ability and working at a skill.
Many of the positive role models he had early in his life, he attributes to the club, explaining that he surrounded himself with good people, and it made a tremendous difference on his work-ethic, outlook on life, and the importance of empathizing with other people.