As Matthew McConaughey inspired high school students to stay fit, remain in school, and stick true to their fullest potential through the GIVE Education campaign, he recalled who his mentor was growing up in Texas.
"One mentor to me was somebody I didn't know then but know now: the music of John Mellencamp," McConaughey revealed after mentoring high school students at Venice High School. "He really defined my definitions of patriotism and a lot of the man that I wanted to be and how I saw race relations and things like that."
The Magic Mike actor said that while he was inspired and influenced by the lyrics of the Grammy-winning rock musician, his true hero in life being the youngest of three boys was his brother Pat.
"Everything he did: the way he was a good brother to me, the way he was a big brother but also allowed me to come and hang with him in the right, cool moments," he praised of his middle brother. "There were all kinds of reasons I looked up to him."
McConaughey's mentoring venture is a partnered endeavor between his charitable foundation Just Keep Livin and consumer goods company Procter & Gamble. With alarming high school drop-out statistics and a subsequent need for mentorship, the 42-year-old actor said he targeted the schools that needed it the most.
Although being a successful actor has placed him and his family in a privileged state, McConaughey said he instills the same values in his children that he upholds and disseminates as a mentor. Being a father, as he says, makes him even more excited to participate in charitable outings.
"I get more excited about this when I'm with my kids," he said. "Like today, leaving to come here and telling my kids...'Well, it's really not work, but here's what I'm doing,' and telling them about it. To see them talk about gratitude, I get very thankful and incentivized to come [here]."