Rising Stars Partners with Long Island City YMCA in helping at risk children
Rising Stars founder and director of outreach Paul Savramis announced today that the Long Island City YMCA and Rising Stars have formed a partnership to help area kids attain success. The partnership will be both a focal point of Rising Stars community initiatives and a possible national template for the YMCA.
The initiative extends a grass roots program formed by Rising Stars executive director Dan Gimpel and Willis Perry to provide an outlet for at risk kids in Queens.
Mr. Gimpel is pleased to see the program as collaboration with the Y and stresses the influence both organizations can have on a child early in life.
Looking at the two organizations the symmetry and ability to influence early development is clear. Long Island City Y executive director Ebony Young sees that influence and points out to the many similarities between the two organizations as key to entering a partnership with Rising Stars. Ms. Young explained “Visit our web site http://www.ymca.net/ and the Rising Stars web site http://risingstarsinc.org/ and you will see that they were written with the same thoughts in mind. Both focus on the development of youth and empowering children with the tools they need to succeed in life. Both use sports as a vehicle to attract kids and as a platform to promote education. We both put the same emphasis on what’s essential in helping kids succeed.” Ms. Young continues “What was also key in our decision to join Rising Stars in this initiative was the incredible success Rising Stars has seen over the years in having its program participants graduate HS and issue free. That level of success is something that’s needed on a national level and something we are intent to see achieved here. Our area demographics include some of the most at risk areas in NY City and those areas will be a litmus test in seeing the effectiveness of the initiative.”
Savramis agrees “Rising Stars believe that the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for life. Because of programs like ours, more young people in neighborhoods around the nation are taking a greater interest in learning and making smarter life choices.”
This initiative will target a control group of Rising Stars that need academic support and will track their progress from grade 6 through entry into college. All participants will be enrolled in both Rising Stars and the Y yearly programs. Study hall will become as familiar as the gym and success in class a prerequisite to getting in the gymnasium.
The program will be directed by Mr. Tyrone Green a lifelong advocate and champion of youth. Mr. Green was a recipient of NYC’S prestigious Leroy Hines Youth advocate award and has a reputation for making a difference in the life of a child.
Mr. Green has worked with Paul Savramis for over 30 years. Together they spearheaded Nautica’s For The Good of the Neighborhood Clinic series that was the talk of the tristate in how it was able to reach kids .Mr. Green explains “What we did in a one day clinic was truly amazing and an inspiration. What we are looking to do is turn a one day event into a six year commitment. It’s something I feel will work and something I have waited to see for many years.
Mr. Green’s latest basketball protégé is Chicago Bulls and NBA all-star Joakim Noah. Joakim has joined Mr. Green in helping give back and will commit to a tournament at the Long Island YMCA to draw attention and create excitement for the cause.
One of the initiatives strongest supporters is ESPN’S Jay Williams, a Rising Stars alumni and its national ambassador.
“My mother, (Rising Stars acting President) Althea Williams, is a proponent of education and has committed herself to the case. I have both seen and benefited from this program since 5th grade and can say that it works and will continue to work wonders for kids. Mr. Williams is a great example of Rising Stars emphasis on the importance of balance between sports and education. Jay was a two time national player of the year and passed up a first round selection in the NBA to return and graduate from Duke. Mr. Williams continued “Our focus at Rising Stars has always been on seeing programs like this come to pass.
Each May we hold our foundation dinner at the New York Athletic Club and focus on the importance of having programs like the one we will have at Long Island City and what that will mean in the life of a child.”
Joining Jay at recent dinners to help get that point across were Michael Strahan, NY Knicks GM Alan Huston, and Joakim Noah.