This Week we Celebrate Sports Volunteerism!
For the week of Oct. 19, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will work in cooperation with Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Youth Wrestling and Tenacity to celebrate Sports Volunteerism. Congratulations to our "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week" Jacob Vlahakis Volunteer, Tenacity
A little over a year ago, Jacob's plan was to go to graduate school for Japanese Language and Literary Studies and delve into the world of academia, research, and writing. But not before doing a year of service with AmeriCorps to serve youth in Boston Public Schools, working with Tenacity to make a difference in urban education through academics and sports. Jacob served as the Academic Lead for Tenacity's Middle School Academy program at the Umana Academy in East Boston, providing both literacy and tennis/fitness programming, and creating and implementing literacy curriculum for 75 middle school students. In his second year as an AmeriCorps volunteer, Jacob serves in a new role as the Family Engagement Lead, empowering families to support their children at home all the while weaving Tenacity's powerful tennis/fitness/academic messages together.
Tenacity's mission is to improve the scholastic, character and physical development of urban youth through a combination of academic support, life skills development, family engagement, and fitness/tennis. Tenacity's long term goal is to increase the amount of Boston's at-risk youth that attend and complete post-secondary programs by increasing academic achievement among students in Boston Public Schools. Why volunteers are critical to Tenacity:
Volunteer Opportunities at Tenacity:
- Volunteers help students develop and hone life skills (work ethic, sportsmanship, communication, perseverance, etc.) on the tennis courts and transfer those skills in the classrooms.
- Volunteers have the ability to empower students to achieve postsecondary success.
- Volunteers create a well-rounded student body and teach students that physical activity, fitness, and health are closely tied to academics.
- Academic Volunteer – tutoring and mentoring 6th, 7th, 8th grade students in literacy and math (2-3 hours per week)
- Tennis/Fitness Volunteer – coaching and supporting tennis & fitness program with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (2-3 hours per week)
- High School Tutor (Tutor Bank) – tutoring one-on-one with a high school student in any of one subject matters: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc. (2 hours per week)
to inquire about volunteering at Tenacity and visit www.tenacity.org/volunteer.php
for more information.
BIKES NOT BOMBS
Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change. The organization reclaims thousands of bicycles each year. Bikes Not Bombs creates local and global programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation. These programs help to mobilize youth and adults to be leaders in community transformation. Why Bikes Not Bombs needs volunteers:
- Volunteers sort through the 5,000+ bicycle donations Bikes Not Bombs collects each year and packs them into shipping containers for their International Partners.
- Volunteers serve as leaders, supporters and friends in youth programs, encouraging participants to be comfortable on and off the bike.
- Over 100 volunteers help at Bikes Not Bombs' annual Bike-A-Thon doing everything from leading the 80, 50, 30 and 10 mile rides to serving food and post-ride massages.
- Help process bike donations at Thursday Volunteer Nights. No mechanical experience necessary, tasks include rolling tubes, sorting spokes and flattening bikes.
- Set up a Bike Drive to help collect bikes, parts and accessories for use in Bikes Not Bombs' Youth and International programs.
- Help out at the Bikes Not Bombs office as an office volunteer. Volunteers will be assisting with critical data entry during regular office hours.
For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, visit www.bikesnotbombs.org/volunteer
. We thank Elijah and Michelle for their volunteer work at Bikes Not Bombs! Elijah Evans
has been involved with Bikes Not Bombs (BNB), since he was 14, as a participant in the Earn-A-Bike program. He went on to coordinate Bikes Not Bombs summer youth programs and is a graduate of the Vocational Training program as well as a part-time mechanic at the Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop. In 2007, Elijah joined the adult staff as the Youth Programs Coordinator. In 2012, he was promoted to the Director of Youth Programs. In this role, he oversaw the direction and implementation of all Bikes Not Bombs Youth Programs, built connections with schools and other community-based organizations, designed mechanics and cycling curricula to primarily engage youth color and served as a mentor to BNB's young people. Now a middle school teacher in Chelsea, Elijah has remained deeply involved with Bikes Not Bombs serving as an officer on the Board of Directors and overseeing the organizations' ongoing strategic planning. Michelle Gurel
first got involved with Bikes Not Bombs as a Bike-A-Thon participant in 2011, and has been increasing her involvement with the organization every year since. Her enthusiasm and excitement about Bikes Not Bombs is infectious, and she is constantly reaching out to new people about Bikes Not Bombs work and mission. Michelle is a regular volunteer at Container Loadings where she helps load bikes into shipping containers that the organization ships to their international partners around the world. Michelle makes an effort to attend Bikes Not Bombs events near and far and always brings her two daughters or friends to introduce them to the organization.
BOSTON YOUTH WRESTLING
Boston Youth Wrestling was established to use the sport of wrestling as a vehicle to promote youth development in inner city Boston and the Greater Boston Area. The organization's goal is to inspire personal, academic, and athletic success through wrestling, in order to help communities' youth cultivate the skills that can put them on the path towards success.
Volunteering is the lifeblood of Boston Youth Wrestling. This year, they served 200 youth who are gaining valuable skills. In three years, the organization plans to expand their programs and services to reach 450 youth in 24 program sites. Boston Youth Wrestling's quick success is directly related to the community of volunteers that support their everyday work, and have committed to make an impact on the lives of young people living in the cities of Boston and Chelsea. Volunteer Opportunities:
- Volunteer coaches: Assist lead coaches in implementation of workout regimen and specific wrestling tactics, and instill values of hard work and discipline
- Marketing and Media Director: Responsible for press and community outreach, social media management, and development of a marketing plan. Qualifications: Strong writing skills and knowledge of social media, preferably with a marketing background.
- Website Developer: Responsible for managing and developing their website at bostonwrestling.org. Qualifications: Prior experience with website design.
- Event Coordinator: Responsible for the planning and management of fundraising events. Qualifications: Prior experience in event planning.
To learn more, please visit www.bostonwrestling.org
. Boston Youth Wrestling thanks Brad for his dedicated volunteer efforts! Brad Lewis
is an example of the tremendous commitment Boston Youth Wresting volunteers make towards serving youth. As a volunteer with their program, Brad has made every effort to help tutor and coach their young wrestlers in the importance of hard work, technique, and discipline in all parts of one's life. His love for the sport and young people recently inspired Brad to pursue a career in education, a path that has now led him towards working on his Master's in Education with the Boston Teacher Residency. His placement in the Boston Public Schools means that he will continue to be a strong mentor and role model for the young people that need it the most.
The Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism
The Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow the Kraft family's example of becoming a lifelong volunteer.
Throughout the season, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will celebrate volunteers that work tirelessly to support children and families in need throughout the New England region, while also encouraging Patriots fans to get involved in their communities. From animals and arts to military and homelessness, the foundation will have different weekly focuses throughout the season. Each week, the Kraft family and foundation recognizes one outstanding volunteer as the "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week."
Fifteen outstanding volunteers will be named as a Patriots Difference Maker of the Week and are recognized at Patriots Community Tuesday events. During the players one day off, they can be found out in the community at a nonprofit organization based around the weekly theme. Current and former Patriots players will interact with children and families each week and present the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week with an award. Patriots cheerleaders, mascot Pat Patriot and families of Patriots players and coaches will also be actively involved in the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative throughout the season.
The Kraft family and foundation encourage all Patriots fans to join us! Celebrate Volunteerism activities include the opportunity for fans to pledge volunteer hours and submit photos of their own "Patriots Difference Maker" certificates. Patriots' fans from around the world can send along their photos that will be used on our website. Each week, the foundation will also post volunteer opportunities that are available with our partnering nonprofit organizations.
Be sure to check back here throughout the season for the most up to date information on the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
2014 Celebrate Volunteerism Weekly Schedule
To view the 2013 Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, click here