Former Buckeye “Driven” to Make a Difference
by MALLORY T. GRAYSON | Nov. 14, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man exuding confidence in every step he takes enters the lobby of 104.9 FM The River. As he enters his office, he nonchalantly takes his Ohio State football helmet off and places it on a shelf. “I had too many things to carry,” he laughs.
A unique sense of calm can be felt as Roy Hall sits back in his chair and smiles. This is the smile of a former Buckeye. This is the smile of a former National Football League player. But most importantly, this is the smile of a leader.
At just 32 years old, Roy Hall is the president of a successful nonprofit called the Driven Foundation, and has more life experience than most can say after an entire lifetime.
“I had some challenges growing up. My father was a heroine addict, and some of the challenges that come with that can be physical and emotional. After my parents divorced, there were financial challenges as well,” Roy says describing his unfavorable childhood.
Roy painfully recalls weeks his mother went without meals and he and his sister had to take care of themselves. He attributes his height as well as his strength and passion to his father, but notes “If my dad had been a great stand-up dad, maybe I would have been a spoiled kid and then I wouldn’t understand the significance of giving back to others. So actually, his decisions are why I am here.”
Basketball was Roy’s first love, but by the end of his junior year of high school, Roy had offers from almost every Big Ten school. When asked “Why Ohio State?” Roy answered matter-of- factly, “Scarlet and Grey were always my favorite colors.”
After four impressive years of college football, Roy was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts to play wide receiver following their 2007 SuperBowl win. Not only was he able to remain close to home, he had the opportunity to play amongst greats such as Peyton Manning.
Following the infamous NFL Lockout, Roy played his final games in the United Football League. A devastating tear to his hamstring brought him home to Columbus where he focused his efforts on Driven.
The main purpose of Driven is to combat hardships for families and young people throughout central Ohio. “There is no one reason for people going through challenges, so we help people no matter the cause,” Roy explains.
Driven’s first community event was in 2008, but Roy wanted to expand the foundation’s outreach to multiple projects. By 2012, Roy had employed the help of Josselyn Timko, a Community Outreach Director for the NFL, who came on board as Driven’s Community Relations Director.
“It has been an honor to work at Driven, and knowing I help make a difference in the lives of those struggling is a truly indescribable feeling,” Timko says humbly, her eyes bright with motivation.
Although many people know Roy for his time in the NFL, he wants be known for the difference he is making in his community. “People say I am a beast when it comes to football. But when it comes to the Driven Foundation and helping others, I am a beast. I can’t stop, there are too many people depending on me.”
According to Roy, Driven operates on three core principles: perseverance, resilience and assistance. “Never give up, get back up, and help others back up” he adds passionately.
The nonprofit’s website, staydriven.org states, “Through our specialized events, outreach
projects, and programs we combat community and individual shortcomings.”
Driven’s eighth annual Holiday Food Outreach will take place on Dec. 17 at Moler Elementary where over 800 families will receive a week’s worth of food to aid with feeding their children during Columbus schools’ winter break.
Roy has big dreams for Driven, including the vision for a business headquarter near Easton Town Center. “It has the potential to create jobs, add value to the community, and change lives.”
If Driven did not exist, life would be far from boring as Roy would probably be coaching youth football. When he is not working, Roy is just like anyone else. He works out, watches Netflix and most importantly, raises his children.
Roy wishes people knew how goofy he really is, but offered more serious words of wisdom for children everywhere: “Keep God first-hand. God is your source, and everything else is just a resource that should be used to help people.”
When asked if he had anything else to add, Roy clasped his hands together and smiled from ear to ear. “Go Bucks,” he beamed.