I was shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of a Friend of Operation HOPE, and the underserved communities we serve -- former NFL Player Keion Carpenter. Most of the world recognizes Keion as an NFL and all around athlete, but I was fortunate to see another side of him. A side totally focused on 'giving back.' I remember meeting him in my office on several occasions, but I was most impressed with Keion when I didn't see or hear from him at all. It was on those occasions when I only heard ABOUT him. Meaning, times when he simply and quietly went into an Operation HOPE classroom for our Banking on our Future financial literacy work, teaching and inspiring young people with his personal story. No fan fare, no special requests, no requirements, no demands. That was the 'other side' of Keion Carpenter. He was as much Community Leader as NFL Star. This is a man who simply 'showed up,' again and again and again. Selflessly. Keion will be missed, but never forgotten. His imprint lives on in the lives and within the hearts and minds of all those he toughed, directly, in our classrooms and special events for our young people. Gone way too soon, but Mr. Keion Carpenter, you have now been 'Promoted.' Gone on, to a better place. Blessings to his family during this painful and challenging time. John Hope Bryant
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