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True role models have no age limit

Robert Pleasant Jr.

Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Robert Pleasant Jr. isn’t old enough by traditional measures to qualify for role model status. He is not a senior citizen with years of experience under his belt, nor has he had a long career.

He also has not earned $25 million in his rookie season in the NFL, and he doesn’t have a hit record, two other places teens and adults often look for someone to idolize.

So, why did more than 100 people gather to honor him this past Saturday? Simple. Pleasant learned a long time ago that it is not the big splash that makes the difference, but a lot of little drops. He has influenced a whole rainstorm.

He has worked on his community without the fanfare that usually accompanies good deeds. His list of accomplishments probably would suprise even him if he sat down and really looked at the entries. But, he wouldn’t do that. He has too much to do.

Robert Pleasant Jr. proves that people of any generation can help create the type of community they want in the future with a little dedication, a lot of thought and a refusal to succomb to the negative influences that threaten to stifle any effort.

His honor this Saturday was well-deserved. The fact that it was a complete surprise is a testament to how well he understands that influence comes not from fancy banquets and honors – or newspaper articles for that matter – but a legacy of changed lives. And at 31, he already has that, in abundance.