Many AFH athletes feel most passionate about helping children and teens become more physically active. AFH offers many volunteer opportunities for athletes who want to help kids become more active in school and after school programs. Active Schools has a network of more than 20,000 schools and provide opportunities to speak with students about the importance of daily physical activity and lead fitness activities. Marathon Kids is another AFH partner that engages students in weekly running goals with prizes awarded for each marathon (26.2 miles) completed. Lastly, AFH created its own physical activity program, Power Up! which engages students on a monthly basis throughout the school year.
Three years ago, Athletes for Hope, Retired NBA player and current NBA G-League Coach Awvee Storey, and KIPP DC partnered to launch the Power Up! Program, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring third and fourth grade students to exercise a minimum of 60 minutes per day. Our program is modeled from the Active Schools program design, which encourages schools to reduce childhood obesity and improve health outcomes as an “active school.” The Power UP DC program utilizes professional athletes to disseminate this message as retired and active athletes across many sports participate in the monthly program.
Over the past two years, the Power Up! program has now expanded to additional schools in Washington, D.C. and Houston, and this fall, five new schools in Baton Rouge, LA will become part of the program. Athletes such as Pro Soccer player Megan Oyster, professional runner Maddie Kopp, and professional softball player Nerissa Myers have played integral roles in making the Power Up! Program a great success over the last few years. Additionally, a large group of college athletes from LSU and Southern University will join the program this fall.
If you are looking for a regular volunteer opportunity and are interested in bringing the Power Up! Program to a school in your city, please let us know! We would be glad to help organize everything and work with the schools. A program guide and talking points will be provided to you before your involvement begins. Let’s expand this program across the country!
Three years ago, former professional basketball player Awvee Storey came to us with an idea to help the kids in an underserved area in DC. He knew that there were very few options for after school activities at a local school and he wanted to change that. The Power Up Program was born.
Filling the Void:
Awvee and Athletes for Hope worked with a local KIPP school to create the Power Up DC program. Kids come every month to this structured physical activity program. Awvee and a special guest from the Washington Wizards or Mystics come every month to help lead the activities. Every month, Awvee and a special guest from the Washington Wizards or Mystics lead students in our structured physical activity program.
Not only has Awvee helped fill the void for after school programming, but we have been able to prove with the data we have collected that the program is positively impacting the kids. The program is down to a science and now we are expanding the program to other schools.
This year, we’ve expanded our Power Up program to new cities and schools. In addition to the original KIPP D.C. location, we have partnered with the Monumental Sports Foundation to bring the program to Hendley Elementary in D.C. as well. Awvee will continue to participate in both of the D.C. locations monthly. We are also excited to announce that our newest Power Up program was launched in Houston, Texas and led by professional softball player Nerissa Myers.
Nerissa will follow Awvee’s lead and bring in guests for the monthly school activities. As a member of the Scrapyard Dawgs, Nerissa will be able to encourage her teammates to volunteer for the program. We can’t wait to see the great things Nerissa and her teammates will do in Houston.
One of the best things about the Power Up Program is that it offers athletes like Awvee and Nerissa a solid way to build real relationships in their communities over time. We see our athletes expanding Power Up all over the United States. If you are interested in learning more about how Awvee and Nerissa are making a difference and how you can do the same, please contact our team. We will work with you to see if the Power Up Program is a good fit for your time commitment and your overall philanthropic goals.
Two years ago, Athletes for Hope partnered with KIPP D.C. – a charter school in the D.C. area – to help empower kids in some of America’s toughest neighborhoods. KIPP D.C. schools are tuition-free, open enrollment schools, which actively recruit and educate students in the city’s most educationally underserved communities.
Awvee Storey, former basketball player of the Washington Wizards and coach for the Washington Mystics, learned about AFH from our staff and training with the WNBA powerhouse. He knew that there was a need in D.C. for empowering kids and he stood up to the plate. Although Awvee just moved to California, the kids from KIPP Charter School in D.C. weigh heavily on his mind. Every single month, from October to May, Awvee boards a plane and flies to D.C. to volunteer his time with the kids. We asked what makes this program so important to him.
“I once was one of them, and to have a professional athlete give them the time each month to come to my school would mean everything to (me) and them. It helps them see athletes in a different light other than on TV,” said Awvee. He says of the kids, “They come to me every time and tell me how they have improved in their school work and attitudes.”
One of the great things about Awvee’s work with KIPP D.C. is that he has brought in more athletes to the program as special guests. We asked him how he is able to get so many Washington Wizards players to join him in his visits. Awvee says, “I just ask them. Players understand their value in working with kids so then come. Players tell me they enjoy the time with the kids.”
We asked Awvee what he would say to an athlete considering giving back to others. “If giving back to kids is something important to you, find the time and make it work. Not once but something consistent,” he said.
Thank you, Awvee, for being a consistent presence in the lives of the kids at KIPP D.C. Charter School. We are so grateful for your dedication and applaud you for all you are doing to make this world a better place for kids.
Athletes for Hope, Awvee Storey, and KIPP DC celebrated the success of the “Power Up” Program with a field trip to the Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Hornets game on Sunday, April 10th. Thirty-five Power Up students and their parents were in attendance as the Wizards beat the Hornets 113 to 98. As a special incentive set up by Awvee, during halftime, the students were escorted to the court where they were recognized for their hard work of reaching their goals of being more physically active! Besides seeing the Wizards win and being recognized at halftime, the kids also walked away with a Wizards t-shirt and a John Wall bobble-head doll!
The kids were thrilled with this opportunity and are looking forward to the start of next years program!
“The game was so cool! I loved the fireworks and the fire that came out. The wizards won and I got to go with my mom and my brother.” – Dajah
“The game was great. We got to be on T.V. and see a game where the Wizards won. I went to the game with my Mom, Brother, and Sister. Everyone had so much fun!” – Landon
“The coolest part of the whole game was going on the court at half-time.” – Madison