It's been quite a ride for Browns defensive Lineman John Hughes.
"My mother wasn't fit to raise me. My dad joined the army. So I was raised by my grandparents," he told NewsChannel5's Lauren Brill.
His grandmother drove a school bus for more than 44 years. For her, it was more than a trip from point A to point B.
"She really had good relationships with all the kids on her bus," Hughes explained. "Some of the stories she would talk to me about, just being a good person. You never know who is watching."
As Hughes rode along in his own life, he took his grandmother's messages to heart. He decided to help steer others in the right direction including those who took a wrong turn.
While playing football in college at Cincinnati, Hughes worked at a local prison.
"Not all of them are bad, they just make bad choices," Hughes explained. "And you learn different things from each guy, everybody has a story."
After witnessing firsthand those who got lost on their way in life, it became important to Hughes to reach out and talking to children, providing them with some guidance.
"Letting them know I was there for them," Hughes said. "So that is why I just wanted it to be me and them talking. They can tell me whatever they want to tell me."
On the field, Hughes has a strong desire to travel well into the postseason.
"With Hue Jackson he has the right message, and I am just excited about everything," he said. "It's all about winning."
The game of football has given Hughes more than just a career. It has given him keys to a vehicle just like his grandmothers, that allows him to drive many with him on his journey to a positive destination.
He explained, "Football is great. The money is great. Playing football at a high level is great but me being able to touch more people and more lives with that status that I am at is even better."