Q: What is the Rising Stars Outreach Initiative Program?
Paul Savramis: The pilot program for the Outreach Initiative Program includes 15 boys who are being provided academic support while playing on the basketball team. In 2015, the program is slated to add a mentoring program so these students will have the opportunity to meet leaders in the business and education fields. Eventually, the goal of the Outreach Initiative Program is to stretch across New York City and beyond. The Community Relations Team of Bank of America recently attended an open house for our program at the Long Island City YMCA.
Q: Who provides organizational support?
Paul Savramis: Althea Bowman-Williams, Rising Stars Educational Director and Acting President is leading this endeavor along with the approval and support of LIC YMCA Executive Director Ebony Young. Parent liaisons for the program are Willis and Alsina Perry both licensed teachers in NY.
Q: How do you expect this program to make a difference?
Paul Savramis: To say the least, it is a team effort. Rising Stars leadership relies on the help of academic advisors, coaches, parents and guardians, and the student are completely invested in the success of this new initiative. Our new partners now have a greater understanding of the power of this program, as well as the importance of the social and academic development of today’s youth.
Q: Can you name a major milestone that Rising Stars hopes to reach within the next year?
Paul Savramis: Sure. As Rising Stars continues to develop similar programs, we will be seeking out other businesses to serve as partners. One example is our relationship with the Community Relations Team at Bank of America. In order to maximize its potential, the Initiative Program must garner support from the rest of the community.
Q: How does the Outreach Initiative Program fit into Rising Star’s mission?
Paul Savramis: The Rising Stars Youth Foundation has established a reputation as a life-changing non-profit organization that promotes athletic and academic programming, as well as the development of life skills for the students we serve. Our main objective is to create and maintain a strong foundation for these children as they develop core values such as respect and accountability.