Denzel Washington is famous for his on-screen persona and dashing good looks, but his appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday wasn’t about promoting his latest movie or theatrical project.

Instead, the renowned actor was in Washington D.C. advocating for youth in his role as a longtime ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. At 6 years old, he became part of a club in Mount Vernon, New York.

“I am a prime example of the need for a community-based safe haven like Boys and Girls Clubs,” said the star, wearing a dark suit as he addressed a room packed with youngsters, officials, community leaders, and media. “Without the support and mentoring of the club, I’m afraid to think where I would be today. I certainly would not have the life I do now.”

Washington didn’t come to the nation’s capital alone. In the audience were youthful club members, and on the dais were celebrity supporters, namely, LeBron James, singer Ashanti and famed actor/director Ron Howard.

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