Editor’s note: ESPN’s RISE UP Give Back! outreach program takes the television series one step further by encouraging the children who have received grants to “pay it forward” by performing good deeds for others in their community.
BOSTON — On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Team ESPN joined volunteers from Verizon, approximately 45 youth athletes from Dorchester, Mass. (Boston), school administrators and coaches to help present “RISE UP: Give Back!” to the community.
The student athletes from TechBoston Academy and Dorchester Academy are the recipients of new locker rooms and equipment at the Dorchester Education Complex as part of ESPN’s RISE UP Boston series that airs tonight on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
With the help of Verizon and ESPN, the children and their coaches were encouraged to take it one step further and “pay it forward” by refurbishing a play area and donating a KaBoom! Imagination Playground to children at the Boston ABCD Walnut Grove Head Start center.
“What’s really great about this is that athletes are paying it forward. They are rippling this hope that RISE UP gave them through their local communities,” said Kevin Martinez, ESPN Senior Director of Corporate Outreach.
Volunteers painted park benches, planted flowers, created hopscotch boards and assembled the KaBoom! Imagination Playground.
It was a true testament to what a community can achieve in just a few short hours.
The Headmaster of Dorchester Academy, Kwesi Moody, was so proud of his students and the RISE UP – Give Back! program.
“I’m proud to see the students are here putting in the work and paying it forward to rebuild the community and create a safer playground for the Boston ABCD Head Start community.”
The event featured special guest MC and volunteer Cedric Maxwell, a former Boston Celtics star and current Celtics radio broadcaster.
In addition, Verizon spokesperson Stephanie Lee and administrators from the school spoke to the assembled crowd about the value of community.
As the event concluded, youngsters from the Head Start center performed a special cheer for the ESPN RISE UP folks and the student athletes.
It was an incredible moment for the community and all involved.