Carrie interviews former Green Bay Packer and the President of Bolder Options, Darrell Thompson! Darrell discusses the mission of the Bolder Options mentoring program and their emphasis on fitness, raising 4 athletic kids, and the 2018 Super Bowl.
Recorded January 29, 2018
Now entering his 23rd year with Bolder Options, Darrell has become very well known in Minnesota’s youth development circles. Originally funded by the Minneapolis Jaycees, Bolder Options is a comprehensive youth mentoring program that works with referred youth, age 10-14 that may be at-risk to delinquent or unhealthy behaviors. Youth are matched with a caring adult mentor and introduced to an active-lifestyle based program that provides guidance, support, and opportunities through one-on-one, small group, and family specific programming designed to help them make positive choices and live a healthier life. As the organization’s first full-time employee, Thompson was hired as program manager in the year of the program’s inception, 1993. After 5 years of success, Bolder Options became a separate 501 (c) 3 and Thompson was named Executive Director. He has grown the program to over 150 kids annually in the Twin Cities Metro program, recently expanded to his hometown Rochester, MN and leads 13 full-time employees and more than 25 volunteer Advisory Committee members in the Bolder Options mission: Teaching youth to succeed in ALL of life’s races. Bolder Options is a leader in mentoring programs, basing their program components on best-practices and leading-edge youth development research. Bolder Options boasts a success rate 22% higher than the national average of mentoring programs. Darrell sits on the board for the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, the National CARES Minnesota Committee, was named to CASA, the National Advisory Commission on Substance Abuse among High School Students, by Congressman Jim Ramstad and was awarded the 2016 “Athletes in Excellence Award” from The Foundation for Global Sports Development which recognizes exceptional athletes who uphold the values of good sportsmanship and fair play both on and off the field. Darrell is often remembered as one of the most decorated athletes to graduate from John Marshall High School in Rochester, MN, the leading rusher in University of Minnesota Gopher Football History and the first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers where he spent 5 years before devoting his life to at-risk youth in Minnesota. Darrell lives in Plymouth, MN with his wife Steph and they have four children. In his off time you might find him enjoying Bikram yoga, fishing, or a round of golf. You can also hear Darrell throughout the college football season as one of Leerfield Sports Gopher Game Day announcers broadcasting on 100.3FM KFAN.