Reported by Ashley Naples
Earlier this year President Obama announced an initiative named My Brother’s Keeper that would strive to make a positive change in the lives of minority boys who are considered at risk youth. The president made his announcement about the program at the White House, in the presence of athletes, journalists, social commentators, actors, and many other influential people. He promised that the initiative wouldn’t die upon completion of his presidency and that he’d solicited $200 million in funding (over a period of five years) from private companies to ensure the project would indeed get off the ground.
NBA athlete Chris Paul has joined the POTUS and actively participates in the program and blogged about his experience on Huffington Post. As he interacts with the youth — most, if not all of whom are raised in a single-parent home — he says it helps him realize how “blessed” he is to have had his parents, mentors, and coaches guiding him throughout his youth. He goes on to to mention specific people in his life (e.g. his grandfather, one of his coaches, his parents, etc.) and the things they taught him.
Read more about his experience below:
Working with the My Brother’s Keeper program gives me an opportunity to look back through my life and realize how blessed I am to have had mentors and coaches who have helped me become the man I am today. My wife, Jada, and I are also using the advice, shared experiences and love that our parents and extended family have shown us to be the best parents we can.
My parents taught my brother and me about the importance of family. We watched them make sacrifices for us to ensure that we had a good education and understood the importance of keeping God first in our lives. I also learned the importance of discipline that has shaped me now that I am a parent.
My grandfather taught me about the importance of hard work and setting a goal and reaching it. He was the first African American owner of a gas station in North Carolina. My brother and I spent summers changing oil, rotating tires and learning to be respectful to his customers.
When I went to Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser taught me about the importance of discipline on the basketball court. He shared with our entire roster the importance of playing like a team, trusting each other and understanding the importance of being a student of the game, so we could achieve greatness on an off the court.