Sports Greats Turn Out For Mentoring Program
HOUSTON, TX - Most sports fans could only dream of meeting their favorite coaches all in one location. Macho attitudes might surface but not at this event—all egos were placed aside for a community cause.
Heisman Trophy winner and retired NBA player Charlie Ward, Jr. along with New York Times Best-Selling author and former Indianapolis Head Coach Tony Dungy were among 800 athletes and notables at the âUncommon Community, Charlie Ward Tribute to Excellenceâ benefit on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza-Reliant in Houston, Texas. Ward hosted the benefit to raise funds for construction of an athletic facility at the Westbury Christian School in Houston where he coaches. Dungy served as event keynote and signed copies of his books Uncommon and latest release, The Mentor Leader.
Through the exchange of autographs, photographs and smiles, Dungy and Ward joined other event participants with one focus: Invest in and bring unity to our troubled communities, positively impact the lives of others.
L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Founder and CEO Derrick Boles, Hakim Hazim and Hans Schatz also of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST attended the "Uncommon Community" benefit and could not help but witness parallels between Dungy‘s and Ward‘s efforts and that of their organization‘s newly launched Mentoring Challenge national initiative. Today‘s youth, particularly Black and Hispanic males, face challenges beyond conceivable. For young Black males, the leading cause of death is homicide. For those born in 2001, many will spend some time in prison. With these daunting odds, it calls for courageous people willing to give of their time.
"Tony Dungy‘s book The Mentor Leader parallels with our message and our Mentoring Challenge event planned for January 14, 2011," expressed Boles. "It is very apparent that there needs to be a shift in how we develop and build communities and it starts with our thoughts, words and actions," said Boles.
The L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST Mentoring Challenge, an idea conceived by Hakim Hazim, is a community mentoring program and certification designed to recruit, train and develop community mentors who will in turn address identified issues in their area. Cities can sponsor this personal challenge to business leaders and communities to improve the world through investing in the lives of young people. In mid-July, the organization introduced the initiative to generate interest for a larger Mentoring Challenge faith-friendly event on January 14, 2011 in Boise with former NFL Pro Bowler Joe Ehrmann as the keynote. The hope is that business leaders across the country will host Mentoring Challenges.
"What Charlie Ward and Tony Dungy are doing globally is key to what we‘re doing through L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST to create better communities," said Hans Schatz. "Part of what has created today‘s environment is loss of 'community.‘ To save our young people we have to win this battle together. This is not an independent effort," stated Schatz.
Founded in 2006 by Derrick Boles, L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST is a national community development organization that focuses on educational initiatives. Based in Nampa, Idaho, the company is committed to engaging current and future leaders in a variety of settings by providing curriculum, leadership training and workshops.
Westbury Christian School (WCS) is a private, Christian, co-ed, K3 through 12th grade school system. While WCS is a church of Christ educational institution, it is open to students of all faiths, nationalities and ethnic origins.