Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield, along with FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth Senior Vice President & General Manager Jeff Genthner, today announced the two organizations have joined together for a $200,000 sponsorship of Y Achievers, a YMCA of Greater Charlotte program that operates in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Along with the $200,000 sponsorship, the two organizations presented $5,000 scholarships to three high school students — 12th grader Jewel Jefferies from West Charlotte, 11th grader Selina Cortez from West Mecklenburg and 12th grader Ken'Dajah Chaplin-Green from Vance. View video from the first event at West Charlotte High School.
“The Bobcats and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth are outstanding partners for our district, supporting the Y Achievers program as well as individual students with scholarships,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison. “We are so honored to have them as partners and we appreciate the generosity and dedication to helping our students succeed in high school and beyond.”
Y Achievers is a national YMCA program to help teens graduate and attend a post-secondary institution or adopt a vocation. Y Achievers helps teens improve academic performance, develop a positive sense of self, build character, explore diverse college and career options, and interact with professionals who serve as role models.
“At the Y, we believe in nurturing the potential of all teens. That is why Y Achievers is offered to students at no cost,” said YMCA of Greater Charlotte President Andy Calhoun.
Charlotte Bobcats team owner Michael Jordan added, "We feel a need to give back to the community. We want to live here, learn from the issues and help improve our community."
In partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Y Achievers seeks to increase the graduation rate from the current 73.6 percent to 90 percent by 2014.
"We recognize and understand the importance of education in today’s world,” said Whitfield. “As an organization, we take pride in fulfilling our obligation to help our youth in the Charlotte community reach their potential and achieve ultimate success.”
In addition to the sponsorship, the entire staff of Bobcats Sports & Entertainment, including players and coaches, and a group of staff members from FOX Sports South’s corporate office in Atlanta are participating in a day of service that includes symposiums at West Charlotte, West Mecklenburg and Vance about the business of pro basketball. Smaller symposiums, classroom visits and tutoring sessions at six elementary and middle schools that feed into the three high schools are also planned.
“The success of the FOX Sports Regional Networks is built on strong partnerships with the communities we serve,” said Genthner. “Through our partnership with the Bobcats, this is a great opportunity to give back to the community through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the YMCA Y Achievers program by helping these dedicated students achieve their full academic potential.”