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Draughn inspired to fill gaps for youth

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New York Giants running back and former Tarboro High School standout Shaun Draughn passes the football to a camp participant Saturday during Todd Gurley's youth football camp at Tarboro High School.

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BY JESSIE H. NUNERY
Sports Editor

Sunday, April 2, 2017

TARBORO — He laughs about it now, but Shaun Draughn can remember the first time he visited a bank as a student at the University of North Carolina.

He had a check in his hand and confidently walked up to a bank teller to complete the transaction.

The only problem was that Draughn had not filled a deposit slip.

While Draughn’s duty was to toss footballs and teach receiving routes to young children Saturday afternoon at the Todd Gurley Football ProCamp, he had much more in mind.

He hopes one day that many of the 250 first- through eighth-graders who attended the camp are able to leave the area with a greater knowledge of financial and social literacy that escaped Draughn when he was younger.

Sure, Draughn had a bank account prior to his college days, but his parents managed all the transactions.

“There is a gap in education where they aren’t filling that void,” said Draughn, a Tarboro native and NFL veteran running back who recently was signed by the New York Giants. “They wouldn’t have these resources unless me and Todd came back and fed that to them. It’s huge that we do that. I didn’t know that I didn’t know a lot of things until I left here, and you often don’t know those things until you get in those situations.”

It has been a weekend of giving back for Draughn, who along with his wife, Shonda, held the Draughn Family Foundation’s inaugural bowling event Friday night in the Raleigh area.

The Draughns’ plan is to use the foundation to give back to their communities. The New York area, along with Raleigh and Tarboro, will be the starting points where Shonda will focus on girls, and Shaun will work with boys. Tarboro High will be one of the schools adopted, where financial and social literacy will be taught.

The Draughn Foundation plans to donate supplies and technology to the schools chosen.

As much as Draughn enjoyed being an inspiration athletically to the camp, he knows not everyone will make it the professional ranks, which is why he believes any successful person from the area can fill in the gaps area youth might need. These are the people Draughn plans to include in his network to teach young people how to conduct themselves and dress for job interviews, among other things.

“There are things other than sports you have to worry about and things you can be successful doing,” Draughn said. “I’ve been blessed to be in so many different situations, I just want to give those things back.”

Draughn has experiences all across the nation, having landed with his ninth team since 2011. It wasn’t always guaranteed that he would have a roster spot, but he has earned a solid reputation for being a good teammate and all-around player.

The 2006 Tarboro High graduate is hopeful that Edgecombe County youth are one day able to not only improve the local community, but branch out and experience other areas, too.

“That is something you can instill in them,” Draughn said. “Once you experience things you are like, ‘Wow. I never knew this existed.’ For kids to get out, is huge.”

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