Monday, February 19, 2024

Rising Stars: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars and the YMCA
Rising Stars embodies the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Founder Paul Savramis has always believed in the power of community support for a child's success. For the past 27 years, he has focused on building partnerships that make Rising Stars' mission realistic and sustainable. This vision has resulted in collaborations with over 35 partner organizations. 
Q: You've been quoted as saying "It takes a Village to Raise a Child." How does that relate to Rising Stars and its work? 
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars' mission is simple: to promote education. However, the programs that fulfill this mission have become anything but simple. They have benefited greatly from partnering with community organizations that share the common goal of making a positive difference in children's lives. 
Q: Your website mentions providing opportunities for children to play, learn, and grow. How do partnerships help achieve this? 
Paul Savramis: That's a great question! The "play" part is clear since Rising Stars is a basketball program. But look deeper. We utilize the power of teams to teach children the values they need to make good decisions throughout high school. You'll see tutoring, private high school sponsorships, community service, and most importantly, our scholar-athletes graduating high school college-ready and debt-free. 
Q: Can you share some examples of past and present partnerships with like-minded community organizations? 
Paul Savramis: Our first successful partnership was with the YMCA. They offered us a gym, but also much more – a classroom and opportunities for our players to give back to the community. In return, we provided YMCA family memberships for our athletes. It was a win-win situation. 
Q: Are there similar organizations you work with today? 
Paul Savramis: Absolutely. I would say the Academy Charter Schools mirror everything we do, except they don't use sports for enrollment. They offer free, high-quality education tailored to individual needs. Our involvement began through shared board members and Academy directors who recommended our program to their students. 
Since then, we've sponsored programs for them, enrolled more of their students in our scholar programs and teams, and even have our coaches working with them. It's a comprehensive partnership, just like the YMCA – a win-win for the community, the families, and most importantly, the children! 

Paul Savramis
Academy Senior Day sponsored by Wilson & Rising Stars