Enchantment, Lights, Spectacle and More

Posted by Casey Holliday on December 18, 2014

Five Holiday Activities For Mentors and Mentees

The holiday season presents the perfect time to experience amazing happenings in and around Memphis. There is an overwhelming amount of activity to enjoy, including countless parades, shows and events. As kids are out of school, it’s also the perfect time for mentors and mentees to gain some quality time. But with so many things to do, how can you narrow down the choices? Here are some of our favorite holiday activities.

1. A Christmas Carol, presented by Theatre Memphis
What better way to bring in the holidays with the seminal Christmas classic? In this tale, Ebenezer Scrooge sees the true spirit of the holidays through visions of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. Good thing Scrooge had some great mentors on his side to show him past his bitterness!

Playing now through Dec. 23 at Theatre Memphis. Matinees are at 3 pm and evening showings are at 7 pm. Prices: adult - $30, student - $15, children 11 and under - $10.

2. Memphis Botanic Gardens Snowy Nights:
Taking a walk down Playhouse Lane through themed lighting and a musical light show sets the tone for Snowy Nights, but that’s just a small portion of things to do. Groups can create icicle ornaments, complete scavenger hunts in the Snowflake Forest and much more. Even better, there are campfires on the patio for roasting s’mores. And if you forget your s’more kit, don’t worry: they’re available for purchase at the event.

Running every night until Dec. 30 at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Times are 5:30-8:30 pm, with last admission at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $7 for members and $10 for non-members.

3. Memphis Zoo Lights
What better mentor and mentee activity than Memphis’ biggest lights display? Ride through the Zoo Lights on the tram, hang out with Santa in the Courtyard and witness the marvelous Magic Mr. Nick Illusion Show. There’s also a Ferris wheel and camel rides, plus ice skating!

Running 5:30 – 9:30 pm every night from Dec. 19 – 30 at the Memphis Zoo. Tickets are $6 for members and $8 for non-members. Ferris wheel, camel rides and ice skating cost extra.

4. Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees:
The annual Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees at the Pink Palace, benefiting Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, is a great destination for mentors and mentees. Visitors can stop by the Penguin Pals, explore the Gingerbread Village and much more. Plus, you know you’re helping a great cause. Visit on Dec. 19 until 9 pm to witness the forest sparkling at night.

Running through Dec. 31 at the Pink Palace Museum. Hours are 9 am – 5 pm Monday – Saturday and noon – 5 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. 

5. Cirque Dreams Holidaze
If you really want to reward your mentee, the Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the perfect Christmas gift. Blending classic Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, Broadway music and dance and a holiday theme, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is the perfect show for mentors and mentees who want a bit of spectacle with their theater.

Performances are Dec. 26 and 27 at 8 pm at the Orpheum. Ticket prices range from $48.50 - $78.50.

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Nutrition, Stress Management and Physical Fitness? Oh my!

Posted by Casey Holliday on December 18, 2014

Church Health Center series teaches TEAM Mentor Program scholars wellness concepts

Learning about exercise techniques and healthy eating sounds like the last way that a group of 7th and 8th graders would want to spend their after school time. Getting them involved and excited in the learning process sounds even harder. So, how can you get the students to embrace healthy living? By introducing the topics the TEAM way and showing the students how these concepts directly relate to their well-being.

Over the last few weeks, TEAM mentor scholars learned about nutrition, stress management and physical activity through interactive presentations from the Church Health Center. As one in four Memphis-area students suffer from childhood obesity, the lessons struck a particular resonance with the students, including them in the national conversation about how to improve the health of our youth. 

Lesson by lesson, volunteers from the Church Health Center involved the students by introducing concepts through collaborative demonstrations. The students conducted sugar experiments to discover just how much sugar is in that can of soda while learning the dangers of excessive soft drink consumption, such as obesity, attention problems and increased aggression. Physical fitness is particularly hard to get students excited about and very few meet the daily recommendation for activity as the latest data suggests. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, children and teenagers are supposed to engage in 60 minutes of exercise a day, but only 1 in 3 are reaching that minimum. Students often complain that there is not enough time for them to fit in a full hour of physical exercise every day. So, the Church Health Center showed the students exercises that can be completed anywhere and with friends, such as partner squats and agility drills.

Other topics introduced to the scholars included stress triggers and effects, as well as a muscle relaxation technique to reduce stress, and how to measure accurate portion sizes to ensure they are eating correct and healthy amounts. Recent studies have shown that health and well-being are directly correlated with academic achievement — while organizers hope the lessons improve the scholars’ nutrition and physical fitness, the further hope is that it will improve their grades and mental fitness as well.

The Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program, presented by Duncan-Williams, is an after-school youth mentoring program for 7th and 8th grade students administered by the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. Gender-based, 3 volunteer mentors are matched with 9 students to form each TEAM.  Operating at four local charter schools – Power Center Academy Middle, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle, The Soulsville Charter School and Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School – students acquire 21st Century skill sets that position them for success in the modern economy.

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Ties that bind, and words that transcend

Posted by Dairanetta Spain on September 23, 2014

Grizzlies Prep empowers young men in an environment ripe for academic achievement

Each day young boys in grades 6-8 file into Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School located in downtown Memphis just blocks from FedEx Forum.  All scholars first attend Grizzlies Prep in their uniform wearing slacks, oxford shirts, cardigans, and sweater vests. The Grizzlies Prep tie, by contrast, is earned. The garment symbolizes commitment to the Grizzlies Prep mission and values and solidifies a scholar’s admission at Grizzlies Prep.

Held during the fourth week of school, scholars earned their ties and what affectionately correlates as “their stripes” during the Grizzlies Prep Tie Ceremony.  The moment was one celebrated by faculty, staff, families and scholars in the beautiful sanctuary of Calvary Episcopal Church.

“Earning a Grizzlies Prep tie signifies a scholar’s acceptance in our community.” Grizzlies Prep school director Elizabeth Simpson said.  “Once a scholar earns his tie, he wears it with pride because he knows it is an outward representation of what Grizzlies Prep, and by extension our staff, scholars, and families stand for: courage, commitment, grit, excellence, responsibility, and excellence.”


Value Focuses: A Scholar’s Mentality
Grizz Prep core values resonate from floor to floor; from classroom to classroom and are instilled daily. Through an extended school day, double blocks of Math and English Language Arts, time to independently read, and a choice of two electives, Grizzlies Prep provides scholars the tools and support they need to thrive both personally and academically. As young men progress each year, their instruction revolves around themes that build character. Teamwork and friendship are sixth grade focuses. Seventh graders learn about identity and community and the effect one has on the other. At the height of their matriculation at Grizz Prep, eighth grade themes center on self-reliance, manhood and power structures.


1 Million Words: A Scholar’s Window to Higher Standards
Coupled with Grizz Prep value themes, every scholar has a goal to read 1 million words this school year. Studies show a correlation between number of words read in a year and overall academic ability. Students who read over 1,000,000 words per year land in the 80th percentile or higher on most standardized test measures. This exposure to a vast amount of words also increases vocabulary, improves comprehension and helps the brain focus. Reading helps students develop their imagination, discover new adventures and learn about the world around them.

“Reading is fun to me because it takes me to a different world.” said Grizz Prepster and eighth-grader Tye Ficklen.  “Grizzlies Prep gives me a lot of time to read and has a good library full of books.”

After just five weeks into the school year, Ficklen and seventh-grader Rodrick Wilson, are well on their way to reaching the mark and have already read over a half a million words.

Wilson remarks of his accomplishment, “I never read a lot before I came to Grizzlies Prep, but we have rewards here that encourage me to read. Now reading is fun!”

Grizzlies Prep was recently named a reward school ranking among the top 5% of charter schools in the state for performance. Building life-long learners and men of character, it is also one of only a few schools to consistently grow students an average of two grade levels per year making it a replicable model for success in boyhood.

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2014-2015 TEAM Mentor Schedule

Posted by Tiffani Morrow on July 15, 2014

The Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program is expanding for the 2014-2015 school year.
This is your one window of opportunity to join our TEAM!

Mentors are matched on a single-gender “TEAM”, made of 3 volunteer mentors and 9 middle school scholars. Mentors will select a mentoring site and meet there for 90 minutes, once a week, for the duration of the school year (see below for schedule). Mentors will be provided with a pre-service training, interactive lesson plans, and weekly support from Grizzlies staff to ensure that the experience is positive for all participants. Mentors will also have the opportunity to join their TEAM on a few off-site field trips, including a game night experience at FedExForum.

Interested in becoming a TEAM Mentor? Complete a TEAM Mentor Profile to begin the process.

2014-2015 TEAM Mentor Schedule

Monday – 4:00-5:30pm – Freedom Preparatory Academy (7th grade) 

Tuesday – 3:30-5:00pm – The Soulsville Charter School (7th and 8th grade)

Tuesday – 3:30-5:00pm - Grizzlies Prep (7th grade male only)

Wednesday – 3:45-5:15pm – KIPP Memphis (8th Grade)

Thursday –3:30-5:00pm – Power Center Academy (7th and 8th grade)


Questions or still need more information???
Call us at 205-TEAM, email us at mentor@grizzlies.com, or join us at our Mentor Open House and Locker Room Tour. Click here to RSVP.

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Mentor. Be the Difference.

Posted by Tiffani Morrow on July 02, 2014

TEAM UP with the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation to transform the lives of young people.

The Memphis Grizzlies are deeply committed to youth mentoring as a key strategy to achieve our shared goals for all students in Memphis: success in college and life.

The Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative has served as a channel to connect students to positive adult role models, further expanding opportunity for students in Memphis. And Mentoring Works! Studies have linked mentoring to improved academic, social and economic outcomes.

The Grizzlies TEAM UP Initiative presented by Duncan-Williams is recruiting mentors for the 2014 – 2015 school year.

TEAM UP with the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation to transform the lives of young people through mentoring.

Take Action, Apply Now.

 

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The Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program is Expanding!

Posted by Tiffani Morrow on June 26, 2014

In January 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation launched a pilot TEAM mentoring program with a mission to reach more youth, engage more volunteers, and foster retention among those volunteers. Three years later this program has grown to include 7th and 8th graders at Power Center Academy, KIPP Collegiate Middle School and The Soulsville Charter School. This year, we’re proud to announce, that we are expanding!

Beginning fall 2014, the Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program will introduce four new seventh grade mentoring “TEAMs” at both Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School and Freedom Preparatory Academy.  Each TEAM of (3) volunteer mentors and nine (9) students will meet for 60 minutes each week and participate in activities that correspond with a chosen theme and weekly objectives. Each mentoring session allows mentors and students to develop relationships with one another while providing students new skills and experiences.

Educating young men in grades six to eight, Grizzlies Prep prepares all students to excel academically and demonstrate integrity. With the core values or Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Commitment, Grit and Excellence, “Grizz Prep” staff teach students the meaning and importance of these values and how to exemplify them in their lives. Grizzlies Prep is located in downtown Memphis at 168 Jefferson Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.

Freedom Preparatory Academy prepares students to excel in college and in life. With the mission of college preparation through a highly structured, academically rigorous environment, students master the core subjects, develop advanced academic skills and demonstrate the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Excellence, and Community. “Freedom Prep” is located in the Whitehaven Community at 5132 Jonetta Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

To become a TEAM Mentor at Grizzlies Prep or Freedom Prep, sign up today.

For more on the Grizzlies TEAM Mentor Program, please email us.

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Now Recruiting TEAM Mentors for 2014-15

Posted by Tiffani Morrow on May 28, 2014

Join our TEAM!

We’re recruiting new mentors for the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program!

The Grizzlies Foundation and our school partners will be expanding the number of TEAMs for the upcoming school year. Each TEAM matches 3 volunteer mentors with 9 middle school scholars. TEAMs meet at their selected school site for 90 minutes, once a week, for an entire school year. Mentors are provided lesson plans and supplies each week to help facilitate activities with their team.

This is the only time of the year to sign up as a Grizzlies TEAM Mentor. Don’t miss your chance!

Watch video to learn why some of our mentors love it and sign up now to get involved. You may also email us at mentor@grizzlies.com with any questions.

Sign up to be a Grizzlies TEAM Mentor.

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Beno Udrih visits Revolutions Memphis with Westhaven Elementary

Posted by Tiffani Morrow on April 04, 2014

Revolution Memphis invited twelve 4th and 5th graders from Westhaven Elementary who have been going through a bike safety curriculum in PE, on bikes donated by Revolutions to the Shelby County Schools, out at the bike shop to learn about recycling old bikes into new bikes. 

Beno Udrih came to help the kids learn about locating inner-tube holes and repairing bicycling wheels before taking the bikes for a spin through Cooper Young.  Beno also shared a personal story about bike safety, telling kids how he was learning to ride a bike, he didn’t listen to his father’s instructions and was thrown over the handlebars, which gave him a scar on his chin that he still has.  Beno reminded the students to always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Revolutions Memphis is dedicated to providing all Memphians—particularly the working poor of Memphis—with bicycles that function well and creating a place where people can acquire the tools and knowledge required to keep bicycles rolling, ultimately making a positive impact on the community one bicyclist at a time.

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National Mentoring Summit in DC

Posted by Eric Bleier on January 27, 2014

The National Mentoring Summit runs this week in Washington DC

Members of the Grizzlies Foundation will be attending MENTOR’s national summit this week and is one of the few opportunities for those engaged with mentoring to meet and discuss best practices.

The summit begins with a special all day meeting Wednesday for programs engaged in the Quality Mentoring System (QMS) pilot program, of which the Grizzlies Foundation is an exclusive participant. This pilot program will provide the Grizzlies Foundation with assistance from Mass Mentors of Massachusetts, one of the first two programs to test QMS, guidance on improving mentoring programs with which the Grizzlies Foundation currently partners.

Wednesday evening the summit starts in full swing with a banquet at the Library of Congress. Thursday the delegates get to work by attending a number of mentor-related workshops.

Workshops for the summit include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Effective Mentoring in the Age of Social Media
  • Using Advocacy as a Means for Obtaining Funding and Partnerships
  • Developing a Data Structure to Demonstrate Mentoring Impact
  • The Toolkit for Inner City and Urban Youth Mentoring
  • Match Making and Retention
  • And many more! Special celebrity speakers at the summit include South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, NBC Meet the Press moderator David Gregory and baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr.

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    Presidential Proclamation—National Mentoring Month, 2014

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 02, 2014

    President Obama issues proclamation declaring January as National Mentoring Month

    In every corner of our Nation, mentors push our next generation to shape their ambitions, set a positive course, and achieve their boundless potential. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate everyone who teaches, inspires, and guides young Americans as they reach for their dreams.

    Mentors help children build confidence, gain knowledge, and develop the strength of character to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. They are relatives, teachers, coaches, ministers, and neighbors. Anyone can be a mentor, and every child should have the chance to be a mentee. Young people with mentors have better attendance in school, higher self-esteem, a greater chance of pursuing higher education, and a reduced risk of substance abuse. That is why my Administration is creating new opportunities to give back—from expanding national service, promoting responsible fatherhood, and challenging businesses to grow their mentoring activities, to First Lady Michelle Obama’s mentoring initiative, which pairs local high school girls with powerful role models. For more information on how to get involved in a mentoring program, visit www.Serve.gov/Mentor.

    America is at its best when we lift each other up, when we pursue our individual goals while never forgetting that we are bound as one Nation and as one people. If we carry this spirit forward, if we take responsibility for our future leaders and give them the tools to succeed, America’s best days will always lie ahead.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2014 as National Mentoring Month. I call upon public officials, business and community leaders, educators, and Americans across the country to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

    BARACK OBAMA

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    Charvis Brewer drafted by the Grizzlies Sunday as part of Make A Wish

    Posted by Eric Bleier on December 30, 2013

    Charvis Brewer receives his jersey from his favorite player, Mike Conley

    Charvis Brewer receives his jersey from his favorite player, Mike Conley

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    The Grizzlies drafted the youngest person ever Sunday and he proceeded to take leadership of the team for a day

    Charvis Brewer, 8, had a wish to be drafted by an NBA team, and not just any team-his favorite team, the Memphis Grizzlies.

    On December 29, his wish came true when he was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies and in so doing became the youngest player ever drafted by an NBA team. Mike Conley presented him with a jersey before he joined the team at practice at FedExForum. Charvis received a tour of the locker room and then was given honorary coaching duties after being presented a whistle by Coach David Joerger and Zach Randolph.

    Charvis boasted an impressive knowledge of the team and made his own calls as to who should play where, what substitutions should be made and what plays to run.

    Charvis will attend his first game - Grizzlies vs. Bulls on December 30, 2013. #MakeAWish #GrizzNation

    You can see the photo gallery of Charvis’ visit, and read several news stories here:

    Yahoo! Sports

    WMCTV

    MyFoxMemphis

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    Zach Randolph and Tony Allen provide gift cards to youth

    Posted by Eric Bleier on December 17, 2013

    Zach and Tony provide kids with $100 gift cards to shop at Walmart

    Zach and Tony provide kids with $100 gift cards to shop at Walmart

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    As part of the Grizzlies Season of Giving, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph showed once again that they are #AllHeart as the spirit of the season moved them to take 200 Memphis-area Boys and Girls Club participants on a shopping spree at Wal-Mart SuperCenter on December 16, 2013.

    Allen and Randolph’s contributions – combined with donations from the Memphis Grizzlies and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation – enabled the children to participate and purchase needed household items, clothing and holiday gifts during the one-hour shopping spree. Each child that participated received a $100 gift card, thanks to the generosity of Allen, Randolph and the event’s partners.

    Randolph, now having hosted his fourth Holiday shopping spree, and Allen, hosting his second, tipped-off the night by talking to the children about their childhood experiences and visiting with them throughout the evening. The Memphis Grizzlies also provided transportation for the participants.

    This event continued the Memphis Grizzlies Season of Giving, which included Grizzlies players, coaches, family members and staff teaming with community partners to make a difference in the lives of children and families by hosting several charitable events throughout November and December.

    The Memphis-area Boys & Girls Clubs creates opportunities for children through after-school education. They serve more than 7,000 youth ages 6-18 each year by providing the fun experiences and critical guidance needed to build bright futures. Through a variety of academic and recreational programs, the Boys & Girls Clubs empowers members to make productive use of their time and wise decisions in their lives.

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    Zach Randolph receives November Kia Community Assist Award

    Posted by Eric Bleier on December 13, 2013

    Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph received the November Kia Community Assist Award in recognition of his charitable efforts and contributions in the community, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

    Kia Motors and the NBA are honoring Randolph for his continued dedication to helping underprivileged children and families in need. As a part of the NBA’s Season of Giving, Randolph distributed 900 Thanksgiving food baskets at Booker T. Washington High School and Hamilton High School in Memphis. At both events, select families received tickets from Randolph to attend an upcoming Grizzlies game. Randolph also donated 500 turkeys and 500 spiral hams to be given away to 1,000 people at the Clarence Faulkner Community Center in Marion, Ind. In addition to Thanksgiving meals, he contributed 300 winter coats to students at Memphis’ A.B. Hill Elementary.

    “I love to give back to kids in need and from single-parent homes because I was one of those kids growing up, so I feel as though I can relate,” said Randolph. “It’s a blessing for me to be able to help someone else.”

    Prior to tonight’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and a Kia representative will present Randolph with the David Robinson Plaque during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kia and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Randolph’s behalf to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

    Randolph’s generous donations are a part of the leagues larger Season of Giving “NBA Give BIG” program that aims to encourage great work in the community during the holidays. This year the NBA launched its first-ever social media photo mosaic at www.NBA.com/NBAGiveBIG to celebrate and inspire charitable efforts around the world. By using the hashtag #NBAGiveBIG on Twitter and Instagram, fans can join the teams, players and all members of the NBA family by sharing photos, videos and stories from their seasonal community projects.

    Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010. In addition to the monthly Kia Community Assist Awards, the league will present a final 2013-14 Seasonlong Kia Community Assist Award.

    To learn more, please log on to www.nba.com/kiacommunityassist.

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    Grizzlies Foundation and Mike Conley host Holiday party for Team Mentors

    Posted by Eric Bleier on December 13, 2013

    Mike Conley takes time for a little 1-on-1 with one of the mentees in Team Mentoring

    Mike Conley takes time for a little 1-on-1 with one of the mentees in Team Mentoring

    Photo courtesy Spencer Soo

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation hosted a special holiday event for the youth and mentors in the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring Program in the Grand Lobby of FedExForum with a special surprise guest appearance from Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley.

    The event allowed the parents, mentors and mentees of KIPP Collegiate Middle School, The Soulsville Charter School and Power Center Academy Middle School to mix and mingle with Mike Conley, Grizz and the Grizz Girls. During the program, Conley addressed the crowd on the importance of being a mentor and how it has made a difference in his life.

    Youth and mentors enjoyed food, games and raffle drawings for special Grizzlies items. Happy Holidays to all of our wonderful mentors and scholars!

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    Quincy Pondexter gives away hundreds of food baskets

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 26, 2013

    On Sunday, November 24th Grizzlies forward Quincy Pondexter provided and took part in distributing Thanksgiving food baskets to the New Directions Christian Church community (6120 Winchester Rd. Memphis 38115).

    As with the previous giveaways, the families were provided with information on healthy eating and refreshments were provided to families waiting in line.

    Despite it being a chilly day over 300 families showed up. Students from the Power Center Academy, employees of Huey’s and Bid League Movers volunteered their time to put the boxes together and carry them to vehicles.

    Thanks to all who came out to help, and Happy Thanksgiving from the Memphis Grizzlies!

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    Grizz Grannies and Grandpas help MIFA distribute meals

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 21, 2013

    On November 20, members of the Grizz Grannies and Grandpas Dance Team distributed meals to homebound seniors across Memphis as part of MIFA’s Meals On Wheels program. 

    This program, with the help of up to 100 volunteers, provides 1,200 hot, nutritious lunches for homebound elderly and seniors at congregate sites each weekday.  Volunteers interested in delivering meals with MIFA can find more information by calling (901) 529-4513 or visiting http://www.mifa.org/meals.

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    Zach Randolph gives back to the South Memphis community with holiday baskets

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 14, 2013

    Zach Randolph gave away boxes of food to over 400 people

    Zach Randolph gave away boxes of food to over 400 people

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Memphis Grizzlies’ forward Zach Randolph gave back to the community by donating and distributing holiday food baskets and tickets to the November 12 game against the Raptors to 450 families at Booker T. Washington High School for the Thanksgiving holiday as part of the Grizzlies’ Season of Giving on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

    View photos from the event.

    The food baskets included a feast of turkey, corn, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, green beans, cornbread and brownie mix. Randolph also provided information on how to have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

    The Memphis Grizzlies will be spreading holiday cheer across the City of Memphis as they prepare to give thanks throughout the month of November. Grizzlies players, coaches, family members and staff team with community partners to make a difference in the lives of children and families by hosting several charitable events.

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    Bill Russell played ultimate mentor role

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 14, 2013

    Bill Russell visited Memphis in 2008 to speak with community leaders about the importance of mentoring

    Bill Russell visited Memphis in 2008 to speak with community leaders about the importance of mentoring

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Two advocates for mentoring pay tribute to one of the most legendary voices for mentoring

    While I might take issue with the opinion that Boston is the ultimate sports town, especially when the topic is basketball, I have no qualms with also celebrating NBA legend Bill Russell’s contributions to mentoring. Russell provided the most succinct summary about why he believes in mentoring during a visit to Memphis in 2008:

    “There is no such thing as other people’s children.”

    By MARTY MARTINEZ and DAVID SHAPIRO

    reprinted from MassLive

    This fall has provided further evidence that Boston is the ultimate sports town – evidenced not only by our teams’ success on the field but also for the role our athletes play in strengthening our community.

    On Nov. 1, the city of Boston celebrated a sports legend that embodies that spirit both on and off the court. Bill Russell was an unparalleled teammate and athlete who led the Boston Celtics and this city to a record 11 championship banners.

    At the unveiling of a statue honoring Russell, we celebrated tremendous accomplishments on the court, from leading the NBA in minutes played (40,726) and rebounds (21,721), to receiving five MVP awards, induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a gold medal as captain of Team USA and two collegiate championships at University of San Francisco.

    But, we also celebrated his commitment to civil rights and championing of youth mentoring in our country.

    Russell’s incredible athletic ability and unequivocal leadership skills provided him with a platform to give voice to human rights issues, to advocate for equality – even marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to create a legacy that will ensure our city and our country’s young people have the opportunities for which he fought.

    It’s those accomplishments that led to Russell to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civil honor, from President Obama, who said, “I hope that one day in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man.”

    It was then that the Bill Russell Legacy Project was conceptualized. True to his decades of social activism, Russell was resistant to the idea of a statue and only persuaded when the project grew to something more – to a living legacy.

    With support and leadership from Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Celtics, Russell’s family and philanthropic supporters, the project came to life as a catalyst for social change.

    The essence of this living legacy is the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program. The program, administered by the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership, has distributed $100,000 to date to programs which match caring adults with young people in quality mentoring relationships. Russell also played a catalytic role in the creation of the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, through which Massachusetts Mentoring has recruited thousands of mentors for young people.

    Russell has championed youth mentoring to ensure young people have an adult who cares about them, offers guidance, support and encouragement to cultivate positive and healthy development. Mentors provide them with the confidence, resources and continuity of a constructive relationship to help achieve their potential.

    As Russell has powerfully said, “There is no such thing as other people’s children.” This statement derives from his reflection on the moments and people that help one to greatness long before the spotlight finds them.

    The heart of this project harkens back to Russell’s roots as a founding board member of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, where he has volunteered his time and talents for more than 20 years.

    In fact, in 1999, when Russell’s jersey was re-retired at the new Boston Garden, he ensured it was also a fund-raiser for the organization. The reason is simple: he believes in the potential of our nation’s young people and in the power of mentoring to unleash that potential.

    As a young boy, after being cut from his team, it was the coach who paid the $2 membership fee for Russell to become a member of the Boys & Girls Club so he could practice more. Russell ended up on the varsity team and credits the coach’s belief in him for making him realize he had the potential to succeed. That team, by the way, went on to win three state championships with Russell.

    Imagine where the Celtics would have been without that mentor in young Bill Russell’s life.

    While a statue will stand the test of time to capture Bill Russell as the ultimate champion, teammate and sportsman, it also will serve as a living legacy of his activism and a reminder of the power to use one’s platform to advocate for equality, mentoring and opportunity for all, especially our young people.

    Marty Martinez is president and CEO of Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership; David Shapiro is president and CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

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    Tony Allen and Ed Davis provide holiday cheer to Frayser community

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 11, 2013

    Over 500 boxes of food for Thanksgiving were distrubted

    Over 500 boxes of food for Thanksgiving were distrubted

    Photo courtesy Eric Bleier

    Part of the Grizzlies giving thanks throughout the week of November, Tony and Ed provide food to approx. 500

    Memphis Grizzlies players Tony Allen and Ed Davis gave back to the community by donating and distributing holiday food baskets to 500 families at Ed Rice Community Center (2907 N. Watkins St. Memphis 38127) for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as part of the Grizzlies’ Season of Giving on Thursday, November 7th from 4 – 6 p.m.

    The food baskets included turkey, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, green beans, cornbread and brownie mix. The distribution of the food among all the boxes was assisted by Big League Movers and other volunteers. “With the assistance of all these great volunteers this event was our smoothest ever,” said Daniel Peterson, Coordinator with the Memphis Grizzlies Healthy Home Court and Fitness programs.  The Grizzlies organization is extraordinarily grateful for all the volunteers’ help and focus.

    The Memphis Grizzlies will be spreading holiday cheer across the City of Memphis as they prepare to give thanks this week and throughout the month of November. Grizzlies players, coaches, family members and staff will team with community partners to make a difference in the lives of children and families by hosting several charitable events throughout the Thanksgiving month to give thanks to the City of Memphis.

    Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2013-14 Season Tickets, or 11- and 20-Game Packs can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com.  Season Tickets start at $11 per game.  20-game packs start at $12 per game and 11-game packs start as low as $14 per game. For more information on the Grizzlies, please visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz). 

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    Read to Achieve Tip Off

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 25, 2013

    Members of the Memphis Grizzlies and International Paper also took time to read to students

    Members of the Memphis Grizzlies and International Paper also took time to read to students

    Photo courtesy Daniel Peterson

    Grizz Week began Thursday, October 24th with the 2013 Read to Achieve Tip-Off sponsored by International Paper at Bruce Elementary.

    All-Star Reading Team members Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Kosta Koufos and Quincy Pondexter, along with Grizz and the Grizz Girls, were on-hand to take part in an event that has become a staple of the Grizzlies community efforts every season.  Thousands of young students across the Greater Memphis area participate in the reading challenge each year in order to teach them the importance of education and how much fun it can be to read outside of the classroom. 

    At the conclusion of the challenge participating students and schools are invited to attend the Read to Achieve Celebration sponsored by International Paper at FedExForum. The All-Star Reading Team, Grizz, Grizz Girls and other guests attend to congratulate students on their achievement and encourage them to keep reading as an important part of their on-going education.

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    Grizzlies Foundation hosts TEAM Mentoring Day of Service at two locations

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 24, 2013

    Several scholars a their mentor clean out gardens near Lemoyne-Owen to prepare to plant winter plants.

    Several scholars a their mentor clean out gardens near Lemoyne-Owen to prepare to plant winter plants.

    Photo courtesy Spencer Soo

    As part of the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program, mentors and mentees provided half a day of service at two locations

    On Saturday, October 19, 2013 the Grizzlies Foundation hosted a Community Revitalization Project Clean-Up and Scavenger Hunt at LeMoyne-Owen College and the surrounding community including Elmwood Cemetary, Chandler Park, Gaston Park and Soulsville. 

    Grizzlies TEAM UP Specialist and coordinator for the event Tiffani Morrow said, “The Scavenger Hunt provided an opportunity to learn about the past of a neighborhood rich in history. Mentoring provides education and exposure and we were trying to keep to that spirit with this project.”

    Teaching and modeling civic responsibility are key components of the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program. Each year mentors and scholars get the opportunity to spend half a Saturday giving back to their local community. In the past three years, mentoring teams have sorted cans at the Mid-South Food Bank, compiled hundreds of emergency preparedness kits, cleaned neighborhood parks and areas along the Wolf River and assembled brown-bag lunches for local homeless shelters.

    During the Community Revitalization Project, in collaboration with Clean Memphis and LeMoyne-Owen College, over 200 participants revitalized campus gardens, renovated community yard space, had a picnic lunch and learned about the history of the Lemoyne-Owen & Soulsville Community. LeMoyne-Owen alumni and current students were also on site to support the community efforts and spoke with scholars.

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    Mike Conley talks fruits and vegetables to Bethel Grove students as part of Healthy Home Court

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 23, 2013

    Bethel Grove students make a healthy salad using vegetables grown in their garden

    Bethel Grove students make a healthy salad using vegetables grown in their garden

    Photo courtesy Daniel Peterson

    The students of Bethel Grove Elementary had a motivational Monday with Mike Conley as he educated them on the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diet as part of the Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiative.

    Memphis Grizzlies Healthy Home Court Coordinator Daniel Peterson gave the students some wisdom about choosing your food, “When you have a choice, choose fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal because when you live a healthy, active, life you will live longer, be happier and have more success in school and in your career.”

    Students spent the morning with Conley learning how to build trestles for the pea plants in the school’s learning garden, sponsored by the American Heart Association. After building the trestles, Conley and his personal chef and L’Ecole Culinare Chef Instructor Spencer McMillin, held a demonstration in the school’s cafeteria on how to make Conley’s favorite salad using vegetables growing in the Teaching Garden.

    Conley engaged in a question-and-answer segment with the students where they asked him about his favorite vegetables, and if he thought vegetables would give fans more energy to cheer on the Grizzlies at FedExForum.

    “I sure hope so; I think it’s a great idea. Maybe we can put something out there so you can eat more vegetables and be louder so we can win a championship. We can’t do it without ya’ll,” Conley said.

    The students were then served fresh salad for lunch prepared by McMillin; is there a championship to follow now?

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    Notes from NBA Community Relations League Meeting

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 05, 2013

    Joel and NBA Commissioner David Stern

    Joel and NBA Commissioner David Stern

    Joel Katz attended the League's annual CR meeting and brought back thoughts, some directly from Commissioner Stern

    The Grizzlies Foundation’s own Joel Katz was in New York City for several days at the NBA Community Relations meeting to present information about employee volunteer and mentoring programs as a means for letting residents of the city see the involvement of team personnel other than coaches and players and at the same time helping team personnel feel a part of their city.

    Grizzlies employees currently take part in volunteer opportunities such as the annual holiday toy drive, NBA Green Week clean up/revitalization activities and various other opportunities throughout the year. Additionally, several Grizzlies staff members spend dozens of hours as mentors at programs near the Grizzlies offices.

    The Grizzlies have been no strangers to being involved in the community from the outset. The Grizzlies made a $5 million pledge to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after moving to the Memphis in 2001 to support the construction of the Memphis Grizzlies House, a short term care living facility. Since then, the team has provided over $30 million in grants to area non-profits largely which serve youth through education and/or mentoring. The Grizzlies have been awarded national (Steve Patterson Award, 2007) and international (Beyond Sport, 2012) awards for sports philanthropy. Most importantly, in the 12 years the team has been in Memphis thousands of youth and their families have benefited from programs operated or supported by the Grizzlies.

    The NBA League office, at the direction of Commissioner David Stern, made both League-wide and team community relations a priority. At the meeting, Commissioner Stern told attendees that Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer a trend in doing business but an integral part of doing business, especially as sports teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and other NBA teams try to integrate themselves into the DNA of their respective cities.

    Success on the court will certainly help in helping any community believe in their team but making a lasting impact on the youth and families of a community, as is the goal of the Grizzlies Foundation, cannot be accomplished on the court.

    Katz had the opportunity to ask Commissioner Stern what advice he would give to a young professional in the sports business industry and Stern’s response was “Read. Read everything.” As one of the leaders of American professional sports, you do not get to be one of the smartest guys in the room without reading everything.

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    Over 50 New Mentors Sign Up During Grizzlies Summer Recruitment

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 05, 2013

    Mentor and mentee pair celebrate their relationship at the conclusion of the 2013 school year

    Mentor and mentee pair celebrate their relationship at the conclusion of the 2013 school year

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Over Five Dozen New Adults Signed Up in a Fifty Day Period to Mentor Youth

    The Grizzlies Foundation recently concluded a summer recruitment campaign to find 50 new adults to mentor youth, primarily in the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program. Over 5 dozen heeded the call.

  • Who are they?
    Mothers, fathers, entrepreneurs, retirees and all who felt a responsibility and desire to help and inspire youth.

  • Where did they come from and how did they hear about Grizzlies TEAM UP?
    From zip codes all over the city of Memphis. While many heard from us at the variety of presentations and speaking events we appeared at, a surprising number learned about us from a coordinated social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter which included 50 Reasons to become a mentor across the 50 day recruitment period.

  • We are grateful to have had social media help in the form of retweets, links and likes from Foundation supporters like Mike Conley, Elliot Perry, the New Memphis Institute, Leadership Memphis, and Memphis Grizzlies PA announcer Rick Trotter among many others!

    New mentor training begins Saturday, August 10th with mentoring beginning in September for the 19 teams of 7th and 8th grade students and their mentors. While mentors for these teams are no longer needed, mentoring programs in the Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance always need new mentors! If you would like to find out what opportunities exist that can fit your schedule, please fill out our interest form and the Grizzlies Foundation will contact you.

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    Joel Katz interviewed on local news

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 08, 2013

    The Grizzlies Foundation’s own Joel Katz has been making the rounds recently on local news channels to spread awareness about the need for more mentors for both the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program and for our Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance partners.

    Watch Joel channel his best TV interviewee on:

    ABC Local 24

    Fox 13

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    What is Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring?

    Posted by Eric Bleier on June 11, 2013

    The next 50 days are your only chance to sign up to be a Grizzlies TEAM Mentor!

    What is Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring?

    Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring is a youth mentoring program administered by the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation. This program is school-based and matches 3 volunteer mentors with 9 students to form each TEAM. Teams meet for 70 minutes each week and participate in activities that correspond with a chosen theme and weekly objectives. Each mentoring session allows mentors and students to develop relationships with one another while providing students new skills and experiences. We are only accepting applications to mentor until the end of July; sign up now!

    Program Breakdown:

    Mentoring TEAM = 3 volunteer mentors + 9 students

    Youth served: 7th and 8th grade boys/girls (same gender teams)

    Partner Schools: Power Center Academy Middle School, KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle School, and Soulsville Charter School

    Example Activity Themes: Team-building, Leadership, Public Speaking, Personal Identity, Civic Engagement, Nutrition, Stress Management, Healthy Relationships, Physical Fitness, Financial Literacy

    Key Partners: Facing History and Ourselves, University of Memphis Center for Economic Education, Church Health Center, Theatre Memphis

    Mentor Commitment:

    Mentoring Session: 90 minutes per week at school site

    One School year (2 semesters)

    Initial Mentor training plus opportunities to participate in supplemental skill development and educational workshops

    Special Events and field trips (Community Service project, Grizzlies game, Theatre Memphis trip)

    What scholars are saying:

    “If we have problems, we can talk with any of our mentors. If someone is missing there’s still two other people to talk with. Having three voices can help us think deeper and really take it further.”

    “Mentoring is teaching me to be less selfish. Sometimes I only think about myself and I now realize that my actions affect more people than just me.”

    “Even the days when we’re not having fun we are still learning something new.”

    “TeamUp is a place for me to release my stress and frustration. I get to have fun and just be me.”

    Sign up to be a Grizzlies TEAM Mentor now!

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    Grizzlies Prep Still Accepting New Scholars

    Posted by Eric Bleier on April 24, 2013

    Grizzlies Prep Welcomes New Scholars, Opportunities still open for 2013-14

    Since early January, Grizzlies Prep teachers and staff, with the help of many parents, community partners and volunteers, began recruiting students for the 2013-14 school year. In addition to hosting numerous Open Houses in the school’s Downtown Memphis facility, administrators, students and parents were frequently seen promoting the unique culture and opportunities offered by Grizzlies Prep at Memphis Grizzlies games and community events. School Director Elizabeth Simpson even appeared on Fox 13’s “Good Morning Memphis,” the last week of open enrollment.

    On April 1st, out of applications, 100 students were selected to join the next class of sixth grade scholars, and an additional 20 were selected to join the rising seventh grade class. In the words of Ms. Simpson, “If you threw a handful of darts on a map, that’s where we draw our students.” The class is comprised of students who live in all areas of Memphis and Shelby County who share an interest in “excelling academically while demonstrating integrity.”
    While the 6th and 7th grade classes are filled at this time, circumstances may change that create opportunities for other students to enroll during the summer months. Any student or family that might be interested in attending Grizzlies Prep should still apply.
    The Grizzlies Foundation is eager to get to know the incoming class in the coming weeks! Fans who would like to get involved or to learn more about Grizzlies Prep may visit www.grizzliesprep.org.

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    Coaching as Mentoring: Memphis Athletic Ministries

    Posted by Jenny Koltnow on April 23, 2013

    Coach Across America provides tools for MAM to help coaches become better mentors

    Memphis Athletic Ministries recently secured an new partnership with Up2Us, an accomplished, nationally-respected organization that supports youth development programs that use sports to improve the lives of kids across the country. We are delighted the expansion of their program “Coach Across America” included Memphis, giving MAM the opportunity to hire six (6) new coaches in early April.

    The Grizzlies Foundation is proud to work with both organizations and play a role in providing more resources and guidance to youth in MAM’s programs.

    These new coaches, who recently participated in Up2Us National Training Institute in Chicago alongside coaches from 8 other U.S. cities, 2 additional MAM staff and 2 Grizzlies Foundation staff, will be responsible for mentoring middle school youth in at the Grizzlies Center, Kroc Center and Olivet Fellowship Center.

    Coach Across America® (CAA) is a program launched by Up2Us to provide the support needed to train and host highly effective coaches in sports and youth development. CAA’s mission is to lead the United States in training and supporting expert SBYD coaches in the nation’s most under-resourced communities to promote health and nutrition, educational success, civic engagement, and positive personal and social development among youth.

    For more information, visit mamsports.org.

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    Grizzlies Team Mentoring Service Project Finale

    Posted by Joel Katz on April 16, 2013

    We Are Service Champions! Power Center Academy High School Scholars Celebrate.

    The seven Grizzlies Mentoring TEAMs at Power Center Academy High School have successfully completed their semester-long challenge: the development and implementation of a Service-Learning Project.

    The Grizzlies Foundation is grateful to seven incredibly helpful, compassionate and generous community organizations that aligned with each team and helped facilitate this experience. The following organizations have been invaluable to the Grizzlies, our mentors and our scholars for the past 12 weeks: MIFA, Mid-South Food Bank, Salvation Army, Clean Memphis, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, The Church Health Center, and SpeakLIFE Society.
    Each weekly mentoring session tasked the teams with completing various components of the project like doing research on their service issue, identifying a beneficiary of service, creating a community awareness and/or education campaign, and developing their project plans. These 9th and 10th graders and their volunteer mentors wowed us all with their work, creativity and dedication to the process.

    The projects took many different shapes, from a Neighborhood Clean-up, Family Fun Night at a local women’s homeless shelter, and a Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Workshop, to a Garden revitalization, spoken word show about inner-beauty awareness, peer-led wellness assessment, and a food distribution to a senior community.

    Their final deliverable was to develop a creative presentation that showcased the story of their experiences, community impact, and legacy. On Thursday, April 11, the mentoring teams presented their projects at the “I Am A Service Champion” Finale. It was a moving event that inspired everyone in attendance. Each team truly embodied what it meant to be a Service Champion. We are so proud of their commitment to making a difference and service to the Memphis community.

    Here’s what some of our mentoring scholars had to say about their experiences:
    • “I learned that I should participate more with my community.”
    • “I realized the importance of helping people realize their inner-beauty.”
    • “It makes me think about how valuable Memphis is to me.”
    • “People need to be aware of what they’re doing to the environment, and just do the right thing.”
    • “There are a lot of people that need help that are unable to help themselves.”
    • “It makes me want to participate more in helping my community.”
    • “I realized there are great things happening in Memphis!”
    • “I love volunteering!”

    Recruitment to be a Grizzlies TEAM Mentor for the 2013-14 school year is now underway. You can get involved by filling out a TEAM Mentoring application. The school year does not start until September, but submit an application today as slots fill up fast!

    Congrats again to all our Grizzlies TEAM Mentors and scholars!

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    Andrea Wiley: Mentor of the Game

    Posted by Eric Bleier on April 04, 2013

    (L to R) Rob Fischer, Jenny Koltnow, Kendra and mentor Andrea Wiley

    (L to R) Rob Fischer, Jenny Koltnow, Kendra and mentor Andrea Wiley

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Our final Mentor of the Game, Andrea Wiley and her mentee Kendra

    The Grizzlies Foundation was happy to welcomed Andrea Wiley as our Mentor of the Game April1st as the Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs in a close game! Andrea was joined by her mentee Kendra; they spend time together as part of the Girls Incorporated mentoring program.

    Andrea has been a mentor since January 2012. Andrea and Kendra enjoy their weekly meetings together and love visiting the IMAX theater, the zoo and painting pottery.

    To learn how you can become a mentor with Girls, Inc. or any Grizzlies Foundation mentor program partner, fill out our interest form and we will help you find the best mentoring program for you.

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    100 Mentors in 50 Days

    Posted by Eric Bleier on March 08, 2013

    Mentor Rashana Lincoln (left) with Jenny Koltnow, Grizzlies Foundation, Rashana's mentee Asia and Chad Spencer, Ashley Furniture

    Mentor Rashana Lincoln (left) with Jenny Koltnow, Grizzlies Foundation, Rashana's mentee Asia and Chad Spencer, Ashley Furniture

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation found over 150 new adults interested in becoming mentors during our campaign stretching from January 23rd to March 14th. These new mentors will share their advice, encouragement and most importantly, time with young persons across Memphis.

    While the official campaign has concluded, Grizzlies Foundation partners always need more mentors. The Grizzlies Foundation strives to enlist Grizzlies fans giving them the opportunity to be a mentor and work alongside the Grizzlies to help the community’s youth. To become a mentor, simply fill out the interest form and we will contact you.

    About the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation:
    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation is committed to placing volunteer mentors in the lives of at-risk kids in Memphis. The Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness and builds partnerships throughout the community. Winner of the 2012 “Sports Team of the Year” Award by London-based Beyond Sport and winner of the 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award Winner for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, the Grizzlies Foundation have donated $30 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative, e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org.

    About Duncan-Williams, Inc.
    Duncan-Williams, Inc., is a Top 100 Brokerage Firm headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Founded in 1969, the firm is a full-service brokerage and investment banking firm providing financial solutions to individuals and institutional organizations in 50 states and 11 foreign countries. Duncan-Williams, Inc., is a member of FINRA and SIPC. Duncan-Williams, Inc., has offices in Akron, OH, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Gainesville, FL, Houston, TX, Jackson, MS, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA and Tampa, FL. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certifies Duncan-Williams, Inc., as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). The firm was named to the 2010 and 2011 Inc. 5000, Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America.

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    Lipscomb Pitts “The Spark” on Mentoring

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 27, 2013

    Mentoring efforts are the feature of this episode

    Marlon Foster of Knowledge Quest, Dave Carlson of Smith & Nephew and Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow all discuss mentoring and their beliefs on why mentoring youth is important.

    This video is a three part piece; Jenny Koltnow’s interview begins at 16:20.

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    Grizzlies Prep recruiting 6th & 7th grade boys for 2013-14

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 14, 2013

    Do you know a rising 6th or 7th grade boy? Grizzlies Prep is accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year on a first-come, first served basis.

    They are now accepting rising 6th and 7th grade boys for the 2013-2014 school year. To add your son to the applicant list, click here and complete the application form.  You may also request a paper form by calling 901-474-0955.

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    How One City Is Fighting Gun Violence By Engaging Young Americans

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 13, 2013

    A great read from Marc Peters with Campus Progress about how Memphis, Mayor AC Wharton and the Grizzlies Foundation are helping to reduce gun violence among youth in Memphis.

    Please read it and pass it along!

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    Staxtacular 2013 Surpasses All Records from Previous Eight Years

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 13, 2013

    Biggest fundraiser for the Stax Music Academy raised $135,000

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and the Soulsville Foundation announced that Staxtacular 2013, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Stax Music Academy, surpassed all past records in attendance and money raised. The crowd of guests during the January 26, 2013 event was at capacity at almost 550 people, and the event raised approximately $135,000 from sponsorships, ticket sales, and online, silent and live auctions. To recognize the record-breaking achievements, there was a special on-court presentation prior to tip-off at the Grizzlies vs. the Sacramento Kings February 12th, which featured this year’s hosts Tony Allen, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

    This was the ninth consecutive year for Staxtacular, which has always taken place in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. All team members, Head Coach Lionel Hollins and other Grizzlies front office management were in attendance. Entertainment was provided by the Stax Music Academy and the Bo Keys with Percy Wiggins.

    Known as one of the biggest parties of the year, Staxtacular is the annual soul-shakin’ throw-down and auction that benefits the Stax Music Academy and honors the Stax Records legacy. Since its inception in 2005, Staxtacular has continued to grow and has risen over $800,000 for Stax Music Academy’s youth mentoring and music programs. The Stax Music Academy is a unique learning center that inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance and leadership skills by utilizing music with a strong focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.  For more information please contact Tim Sampson at 901-261-6324 or tim.sampson@soulsvillefoundation.org.

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    Tickets for TEAM UP

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 27, 2012

    Enjoy up to 35% off selected Memphis Grizzlies games!

    We are extremely pleased to offer you a special opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to select Memphis Grizzlies’ games. For being amazing mentors, you can save up to 35% off the regular gate price and cheer your home team onto victory. The links will shut off at 12PM on your selected game date and each month new games will be uploaded so you can take advantage of this offer. 


    Game Dates


    Wednesday, March 20th vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 7:00PM
      *Made in Memphis T-Shirts to First 5000 Fans

    Saturday, March 23rd vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00PM
      *Grizzlies rally flags to First 10000 Fans

    Saturday, April13th vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 7:00PM


    How to order tickets: Order your tickets online - it’s fast and secure.
    Follow these simple steps and take advantage of this special offer.
     
    1) Visit our purchase page. https://oss.ticketmaster.com/html/go.htmI?l=EN&t=grizzlies&o=2018432&g=2532

    2) Select the game you wish to attend and click “Find Tickets”

    3) Enter Special Offer Code (Code: TeamUp) in the Special Offer Code Box.

    4) If you have an account, enter email and password under “Access the Offer”. If you don’t have an account, create a Memphis Grizzlies group account by entering your email address in the “Create An Account” box.

    5) Select the number of tickets and special price you desire, Click “Continue”

    6) Your tickets will be displayed. Click “Continue” to accept these tickets and enter your contact information and payment information. If you like to search again, click “Search Again”

    7) Your tickets will be emailed to you as soon as buying process is complete. Print your tickets and enjoy the game.

    Ticket Prices
            Location                   Premium Group Rate             Standard Group Rate  
            Courtside                     $250 (reg. $295)              $200 (reg. $245)
            Plaza 2                         $90 (reg. $105)                $78 (reg. $90)   
            Plaza 3                         $75 (reg. $85)                  $60 (reg. $65) 
            First TN Club               $105 (reg. $130)              $80 (reg. $99) 
            Terrace 2                       $42 (reg. $50)                  $35 (reg. $40)           
            Terrace 3                       $23 (reg. $28)                  $17 (reg. $20)

    Questions?
    Please contact Lamont Nelson at 901.205.1462 or via e-mail at lnelson@grizzlies.com.

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    Beyond Sport Award presented to Memphis Grizzlies

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 13, 2012

    The Memphis Grizzlies and Grizzlies Foundation were presented the Sport Team of the Year Award by Beyond Sport Founder and President, Nick Keller, at the Nov. 11 home game against the Miami Heat.

    On July 25, 2012, the Grizzlies organization and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation were named the winner of the prestigious Sport Team of the Year at the 2012 Beyond Sport Summit. The winner was revealed at a ceremony in London, England upon being named as one of 30 shortlisted organizations from almost 300 projects worldwide in early May.

    The Grizzlies Community Investment team and the Grizzlies Foundation joined the Boston Celtics (United States), Queens Park Rangers FC (United Kingdom), Tottenham Hotspur (United Kingdom) and RIHP NTH QLD Rubies (Australia) as finalists in the “Sport Team of the Year” category.

    The Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative, presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., Grizzlies Read to Achieve, presented by International Paper, and Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiatives, presented by Kellogg’s, were highlighted in this year’s application, as were partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others. Over 25,000 youth are served each year through these combined efforts and for thesecond time in team history, the Grizzlies led the NBA in community/marketing events in the local community.

    The Grizzlies were also in attendance at the second annual Beyond Sport United at Yankees Stadium on Nov. 13, 2012. Beyond Sport United brings together the largest gathering of sports teams from around the world to address how they can do more to trigger positive social change in their communities.


    Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow, local owner and Foundation Vice-Chairman Elliot Perry and Grizzlies Community Investment Director Teresa Dickerson participated in Beyond Sports United. Koltnow and colleagues from the Boston Celtics, also a 2012 Beyond Sport “Sport Team” shortlisted team, made a presentation entitled “Overcoming Fear of Failure: Building Education Programs through Data-Metrics and Community Partnerships.” The two top teams discussed the bold steps and critical decisions made to re-shape their community programs to expand their investment in education, engage fans and achieve true community impact. United also spotlighted a joint interview with Keller and Koltnow during the daylong event.

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    An experience speaking on a panel

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 30, 2012

    My opportunity to speak to some of the most voluntaristic students in the Memphis area

    Saturday, October 27 I participated on a panel with four other people whom I have known for awhile in a professional capacity. We were speaking to high school students at the Youth Engagement Summit and Community Service Awards hosted by Carnival Memphis. In short, these young people are perhaps the most engaged in the area in terms of creating, executing and sustaining service projects.

    We were there to discuss how in our professional work we interest potential volunteers, recognize and retain them and then take questions from the students, which we did via Twitter as well. With me sharing their opinions and thoughts were Sally Pace, current President of the Junior League, Susan Tomlinson Schmidt, Executive Director of the Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Memphis, Estella Mayhue-Greer, President of the Mid-South Food Bank and Douglas Scarboro with the Mayor’s Office of Talent Development who moderated the panel.

    I do believe the youth in attendance will be the future talent we want to keep in Memphis as they further their education and community service. Ways you can support students in Memphis is by becoming a mentor first and foremost with organizations such as the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program, Memphis PREP and many others. Also, support groups like the New Memphis Institute and Leadership Memphis and their respective programs to engage high school and college students and other sources of talent in Memphis and convince them to “bring those talents to Memphis.”

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    Coach Lionel Hollins mentors players off the court-focuses on life

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 30, 2012

    Hollins speaks with guard Josh Selby on the court, and off it

    Hollins speaks with guard Josh Selby on the court, and off it

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Story by The Commercial Appeal Grizzlies writer Ron Tillery about Grizzlies coach Hollins

    Grizzlies reporter Ronald Tillery published an article today centering on how Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins helps his players, and others that cross his path for that matter, to think about their lives as a whole and not just pieces of it. Hollins has been with the team, with a short hiatus, since the team moved to Memphis in 2001 and has been a mentor to players and youth in Memphis for all that time.

    The article is powerful and well worth the time to read. A quick excerpt:

    “Beyond the Xs and Os and a burning desire to win, Hollins aims to make a broader impact. He never misses the chance to intertwine basketball with real-life values. When he talks about the 2012-13 season that starts Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers, Hollins’ mantra is the same as when he took over in 2009: No matter what happens on the court, you can sleep at night if you know you did all you could every time out. That’s life.”

    Read it here.

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    Team Mentoring Service Projects involves 150 adults and students

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 24, 2012

    TEAM Mentoring ladies assembling emergency preparedness kits

    TEAM Mentoring ladies assembling emergency preparedness kits

    150 students and adults on a service day equals a lot of good

    On Saturday, October 20th the Grizzlies Foundation’s TEAM Mentoring students and mentors participated in two separate service projects at the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) and along the Wolf River.

    Ninety five students and adults from the TEAM Mentoring programs at Power Center Academy Middle School, KIPP Memphis and Soulsville Charter School went to MIFA to put together emergency preparedness kits, learn CPR and talk about how to create a family plan in case of an emergency.

    Down by the Wolf River, 50 students and adults from Power Center Academy cleaned up trash in order to beautify the area and prevent the trash from being washed into the river and from there into the Mississippi. They pulled garbage, car parts and many dozens of tires from the area and then learned about the river ecosystem and the Wolf River watershed area.

    Each year the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring programs participate in a service project with the goal to instill a sense of responsibility and also pride in their larger community of Memphis.

    If you are interested in becoming a mentor, fill out our interest form and we will contact. you.

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    Real Madrid Players visit Grizzlies Prep and encourage students

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 08, 2012

    On Friday, October 5th Real Madrid players Sergio Rodriguez and Dontaye Draper paid a visit to Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School to talk to a group of students about motivation and their personal and professional lives. They visited the school to speak with students as part of the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation’s TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative and EuroLeague Basketball’s ONE TEAM initiative.

    Students participated in dribble relays drills while Rodriguez, Draper and other Real Madrid personnel encouraged them. Following the drills, the players talked about what motivates them and answered many good questions from the students.

    On Saturday night, Real Madrid played and lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in a preseason game, 105-93 .

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    Real Madrid Players to Make Special Appearance at Grizzlies Prep Charter School

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 05, 2012

    As part of the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation’s TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative and EuroLeague Basketball’s ONE TEAM initiative, members of the Real Madrid basketball team will make a special appearance at the Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School tomorrow, Friday, October 5 from 12:30-1:30 p.m., prior to the Grizzlies hosting Real Madrid on Saturday. Media is invited to attend.

    The hour-long visit will take place at Grizzlies Prep (168 Jefferson Avenue Memphis, TN 38103) where the players will take 25 scholars from Grizzlies Prep’s sixth grade class through basketball drills helping to demonstrate motivation, teamwork and confidence. The visit will conclude with a short discussion and Q&A. 

    Grizzlies Prep, a public charter school, opened its doors on July 30 of this year with 75 sixth graders. The school receives funding from local, state and federal sources with substantial support coming from the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. With plans on growing one grade level each year, Grizzlies Prep will have approximately 225 young scholars in grades six through eight in 2015. 

    Who:       
    Multiple Real Madrid Players, including Sergio Rodriguez

    When:
    Friday, October 5 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School

    Where:     
    Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School
    168 Jefferson Avenue
    Memphis, TN 38103

    Fans who would like to see Real Madrid take on the Grizzlies at FedExForum Saturday, October 6, or support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2012-13 Season Tickets, 10 and 20-Game Packs or the all new 10-Game Flex Pack can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Tickets for the Plaza IV and Terrace IV sections are already sold out.

    For more information on the Grizzlies Foundation, please visit grizzliesteamup.org, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@GrizzliesTeamUp).

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    City of Memphis, DA’s Office and Memphis Grizzlies Partner for Mentoring Program

    Posted by Eric Bleier on October 03, 2012

    In partnership with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, the City of Memphis will launch the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative Wednesday, October 3rd at 2:30 p.m. in front of City Hall.

    As part of the new mentoring initiative, City employees will be encouraged to serve as mentors to area youth, either through the District Attorney’s Mentoring Program or with Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance member programs.

    “There are goals we work toward every single day – making sure our children finish high school and go to college, keeping kids away from guns and illegal activity, breaking the chains of intergenerational poverty – and mentors increase our chances of success with each and every one of those goals,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. “We must tap into this city’s greatest asset: the people who live and give here. And we’re starting with our own employees.”

    City divisions and departments will be urged to approve flextime to allow employees to serve as mentors during traditional work hours. City employees who sign up for the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative will also be routinely recognized by the Mayor’s Office and the City of Memphis Division of Human Resources.

    By partnering with both the District Attorney’s Office and the Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, the City hopes to provide employees with a broad range of experiences to choose from.

    The District Attorney’s Mentoring Program offers an alternative to court proceedings for youth who are habitually truant. The youth essentially enter into a Court Order in which they agree to be matched with a designated mentor instead of facing prosecution.

    “My office could handle truancy cases like every other crime. However, we see an opportunity in these situations to not only enforce the law but also enrich the life of a young person,” said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. “For a minimum investment of time, the City of Memphis employees can make an immeasurable difference in a young person’s life.”

    The D.A.’s program works exclusively with middle school students, and each mentor is asked to interact with their student for at least eight hours each month.

    “In many instances, our children just need to hear an encouraging word or someone to explain it with a different point of view. That is mentoring,” said Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins.

    The Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance includes local mentoring programs Girls, Inc., Memphis Athletic Ministries, Memphis PREP Program, Memphis City Schools’ CONNECT Mentoring, New Ballet Ensemble & School, and Youth Villages, among others. After filling out a Grizzlies TEAM UP Interest Form detailing their interests and availability, volunteers are paired with the organization that best suits them. Grizzlies’ partners serve kids ages 10-18 and offer one-on-one, group, and team mentoring opportunities in community- and site-based settings.

    “Dozens of opportunities to mentor are found within our trusted Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance member programs. We’ll match City employees with these programs based upon their interests and availability and work with our partners to ensure they have the training and support to start mentoring,” said Jenny Koltnow, executive director of the Grizzlies Foundation. “We hope to see this initiative connect more young people with mentors and inspire individuals and organizations throughout the city to get involved with youth mentoring.”

    The official launch will be held Wednesday, October 3rd, at 2:30 p.m. outside of City Hall. During the event, employees will learn about the many programs and will hear from current volunteer mentors and students. The media is invited to attend.

    Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2012-13 Season Tickets, 10 and 20-Game Packs or the all new 10-Game Flex Pack can do so by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. Tickets for the Plaza IV and Terrace IV sections are already sold out.

    For more information on the Grizzlies Foundation, please visit grizzliesteamup.org, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter GrizzliesTEAMUP @memgrizz).

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    Author Wes Moore visits Memphis to speak with students, mentors and business leaders

    Posted by Eric Bleier on September 26, 2012

    Wes with a member of the Stax Music Academy

    Wes with a member of the Stax Music Academy

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    On September 20-21, the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club and Smith & Nephew teamed up to bring New York Times Best-Selling Author, youth advocate, Army Combat veteran and business leader Wes Moore to Memphis.  Between the frequent nods and misty eyes, it’s certain Mr. Moore’s moving story of two young men growing up in the same Baltimore neighborhood resonated with all guests at the three events featuring him as guest speaker.


    Mr. Moore’s first stop was a Student Forum hosted the Grizzlies Foundation and Facing History and Ourselves at Overton High School. Ninety students representing eight local high schools gathered to hear the author speak. Moore reminded students how important it was to prepare for college and their futures now, urging them to pursue colleges and opportunities that will place them among people who will support their learning and well-being. He reminded them that they should not be defined by their past. Later, students asked questions, inquiring about the Mr. Moore’s relationship with the “other” Wes Moore, now incarcerated in Maryland, while other students asked what advice he might share with aspiring writers.


    Immediately following the Student Forum, Moore proceeded to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music for a reception with mentors, students and local community leaders and LPBC members. The standing room-only crowd enjoyed the soulful sounds of the Stax Music Academy a capella choir before Mr. Moore took the stage.  Among the guests were the 21 Smith & Nephew employees and their 21 mentees who participate in the Smith & Nephew 21st Century Scholars mentoring program, in addition to mentors representing Girls Inc., Youth Villages, Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring and the Memphis PREP Program. Moore spent nearly two hours signing books and engaging guests in conversation!


    The following morning, the Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club welcomed Wes Moore as the keynote speaker for their Signature Breakfast at the Memphis Botanic Garden.  Over 300 guests gathered to consider how they can lead collaborations and coordination of efforts to ensure kids grow and learn among supportive individuals.


    LPBC Director Jeremy Park shared this following Mr Moore’s presentation:


    “Here were three of my favorite quotes because of the illustration they provide: 1) “When it’s time for you to leave here, make sure that it mattered you were even here;” 2) “We’re not products of our environments, we’re products of our expectations;” and 3) “Education matters not just because of what you’re learning…it matters because of who you’re learning from and who you’re learning with.’ 


    “The world is indeed bigger than what is in front of us and the future of our great city and nation depends on us and all “the others.”  As Wes said, we are not just in Memphis, we are of Memphis!  So, we invite you to help us strengthen our city and to have a shared voice for the positive movements and opportunities where we can work together and make an impact.  We look forward to staying in touch and hope you will join us in our efforts to get more leaders actively engaged in our community by simply spreading the word and inviting others to participate.” 


    Thank you to LPBC, Smith & Nephew and Reverend Audrey Gonzalez for your leadership and support in this collaborative effort that brought a leader, role model and exemplary individual to our community.

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    Memphis Ranks Second in US Metro Areas in Giving to Charities

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 24, 2012

    Even kids at the annual Grizzlies Holiday Toy Drive participate in charitable giving

    Even kids at the annual Grizzlies Holiday Toy Drive participate in charitable giving

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Study Reveals The Geography of Charitable Giving

    A recent study from the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that Memphis ranks second in metro areas for charitable donations per capita.

    You can read the NPR article here. The Chronicle of Philanthropy study can be read here.

    Congratulations Memphis! Keep it up and support your local charities.

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    Grizzlies Foundation in the press

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 09, 2012

    Grizzlies Prep Executive Director Elizabeth Simpson addresses the new class of students

    Grizzlies Prep Executive Director Elizabeth Simpson addresses the new class of students

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    The Grizzlies Foundation has had many press articles about our successes lately

    GRIZZLIES “SPORT TEAM OF THE YEAR”
    The Memphis Grizzlies were named “Sport Team of the Year” by London-based Beyond Sport. The Grizzlies were selected among professional sports teams spanning six continents. Executive Director Jenny Koltnow was in London for the Beyond Sport Summit, just days before the start of the London 2012 Olympics.

    NBA Cares

    Editorial: Roaring in Memphis – Commercial Appeal

    Memphis Grizzlies win Beyond Sport Team of the Year Award – Commercial Appeal

    Grizzlies win international ‘Beyond Sport’ award – Memphis Business Journal (blog)

    WREG talks Grizzlies Beyond Sport Award – WREG (CBS 3)

    GRIZZLIES PREPARATORY CHARTER SCHOOL OPENS
    Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School opened on July 30 with 75 sixth-grade boys. Media attention has been tremendous and community interest in supporting the school and its students has been widespread.

    Memphis Grizzlies staff and Foundation partners’ support has been overwhelming in preparing for the Opening. FedExForum staff have worked with ServiceMaster to transform 168 Jefferson Ave. Between the expert cleaning, paint job and new signage the building is a beautiful, welcoming and a place of pride for staff, teachers and students.

    NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies back charter prep school - Associated Press

    Day One for Memphis Grizzlies Prep School - WREG (CBS 3)

    Grizzlies open preparatory charter school - WREG (CBS 3)

    Grizzlies Prep opens doors - WPTY (ABC 24)

    Memphis Grizzlies charter has goal of productive men - Tennesseean (AP)

    Teach for America hopes to keep recruits in Memphis

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    50 Mentors in 50 Days: A Success!

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 07, 2012

    The Grizzlies Foundation set out to find 50 new mentors; we nearly doubled that number!

    During the summer of 2012, the Grizzlies Foundation launched a campaign in order to recruit 50 new mentors for the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program.  This campaign was so successful that we nearly doubled this goal by recruiting over 90 new mentors!

    These new volunteers and the returning Grizzlies TEAM volunteers will mentor 160 students during the 2012-2013 school year. In addition, the response enabled us to secure mentors for Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance programs including Memphis PREP, Youth Villages, Memphis City Schools CONNECT, Grizzlies Prep Lunch Buddies and Girls, Inc.

    This campaign could not have been as successful without the help of Grizzlies Foundation partners and organizations that help us bring mentors into the lives of kids. Programs like Leadership Memphis and The Leadership Academy promoted this campaign to all their class members and alumni resulting in presentations to dozens of groups and businesses.

    Additionally, support from organizations like Duncan-Williams, Inc., Smith & Nephew, Medtronic, First Tennessee, and City Leadership greatly helped this campaign. Partnerships with these organizations will continue to help us give young people access to caring adult mentors.

    If you would like to become a mentor with one of our partners, please fill out our interest form and join our team!

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    Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation partners with Memphis CAC to develop child protection policy

    Posted by JD Graffam on July 27, 2012

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is dedicated to bringing more caring mentors into the lives of our children. Through the Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance, we support responsible mentoring initiatives in Memphis/Shelby County and promote mentoring as a powerful youth development strategy.  In January 2011 we launched our own Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program that matches teams of three mentors with groups of nine students. The program will expand to serve three public charter schools in September 2012.

    The Foundation and the Alliance are committed to ensuring the safety of children served by affiliated mentoring programs, and we are setting the example by establishing a comprehensive child protection policy to guide our own Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program.

    Although this is not a substantial change from current program operations, we have brought together a set of important concepts into one comprehensive document. The policy is based on the “Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring,” the evidence-based best practices which serve as the framework for all Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance programs. This includes a targeted approach to recruiting appropriate volunteers and carefully screening and preparing them to become mentors, and continues with ongoing support, monitoring, and nurturing of the mentoring relationships. Detailed instructions on reporting suspected child abuse or neglect will become a regular component of mentor orientation, and mentors and program leaders will have access to the tools and resources they need to offer advanced training.

    We have partnered with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center to host sessions of “Stewards of Children,” a prevention and response program for adults developed by the organization Darkness to Light. Foundation staff, mentoring program leaders, and mentors have already participated in this training and many more sessions will be scheduled in the coming year. Memphis CAC also worked with us to develop the child protection policy completed in early July. To learn more about the Child Advocacy Center and upcoming sessions of “Stewards of Children,” visit www.MemphisCAC.org.

    For more information on our child protection policy,  email us for details.

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    Grizzlies named 2012 Beyond Sport “Sport Team of the Year”

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 26, 2012

    The Memphis Grizzlies organization and Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation announced that they have been named the winner of the prestigious Sport Team of the Year for the Beyond Sport Awards 2012. The Grizzlies received the award at a ceremony in London, England on Wednesday morning after being named as one of 30 shortlisted organizations from almost 300 projects worldwide in early May.

    “To be recognized today by Beyond Sport as the Sport Team of the Year for 2012 for our community work in Memphis marks one of the proudest days I have had as the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley explained. “This award is a culmination of the hard work and dedication of our local ownership group, along with our team of players, coaches and front office staff, and I cannot thank them enough. Since Day one in Memphis, our goal as a franchise has been to become an integral part of this Memphis community and this award shows that we are having an impact.”

    The Grizzlies Community Investment team and the Grizzlies Foundation joined the Boston Celtics (United States), Queens Park Rangers FC (United Kingdom), Tottenham Hotspur (United Kingdom) and RIHP NTH QLD Rubies (Australia) as finalists in the “Sport Team of the Year” category.

    “It’s a tremendous honor to be named the Sport Team of the Year for this year’s Beyond Sports Awards. This year, we presented the combined work of the Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies Community Investment efforts, both which operate initiatives and outreach to advance education and youth development in the Memphis region,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.  “We’re grateful to our Grizzlies colleagues and partners throughout Memphis who’ve helped us achieve this milestone.”

    The Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative, presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., Grizzlies Read to Achieve, presented by International Paper, and Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiatives, presented by Kellogg’s, were highlighted in this year’s application, as were partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others. Over 25,000 youth are served each year through these combined efforts and for the second time in team history, the Grizzlies led the NBA in community/marketing events in the local community.

    “It is such a great honor that our community investment initiatives are recognized by such a prestigious award. We are grateful to be able to serve thousands of Mid-South area youth annually through our Read to Achieve and Healthy Home Court initiatives,” Director of Community Investment Teresa Dickerson said. “This recognition would not have been possible without our generous team of players and coaches, who volunteer their limited spare time at these events for the betterment of the Memphis community.” 

    Koltnow was on-hand to represent the Grizzlies organization in London, England for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards from July 23-25.  The Summit, an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential global leaders, provides a platform for the Grizzlies Foundation to continue to develop the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative and yield new resources for the Grizzlies’ community investment programs.  The event culminated with the announcement of the winners of the Beyond Sport Awards 2012.

    As a nominated project, the Grizzlies also received additional support and opportunities leading up to the Summit, including a media and promotional pack to help spread the word and gain recognition for the nomination and eligibility to specific funding and support opportunities available through Beyond Sport’s clients and partners specifically for Awards nominees.

    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the community.  The Grizzlies Foundation has donated over $28.5 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception.  In addition, the Grizzlies Foundation will open Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School, an all-boys college preparatory public middle school in Downtown Memphis, in late July 2012. To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org.  Follow @grizzliesteamup on Twitter.

    The mission of the Memphis Grizzlies Community Investment department is to create opportunities for area youth through community outreach, education and sport development initiatives. For more information on the Memphis Grizzlies and Grizzlies Community Investment, please visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow @memgrizz on Twitter.

    Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.  The Beyond Sport Awards program provides a package of funding and business support annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.  For more information, visit beyondsport.org.

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    MCS CONNECT Mentoring Program announces training

    Posted by JD Graffam on July 23, 2012

    Training for new CONNECT Mentors will be held on August 18 at the Teaching and Learning Academy, 2485 Union Avenue.

    Join a group of dedicated community volunteers working to build a strong future for our students in 14 middle schools throughout Memphis. Be a trusting friend, a confidant - a mentor!

    For more information, contact Nellie H. Powell, Program Coordinator, at 901-416-5700 or by email.

    Training will be held from 9am to 1pm. Applications must be received prior to training. Apply on line here. Click on “Community” and then “CONNECT Mentoring.”

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    Youth Villages helps young people RUN to their dreams

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 20, 2012

    Youth Villages is a mentoring partner of the Grizzlies Foundation

    Jarrett is an avid runner, having completed the 2011 St. Jude Half Marathon with a time of 1:48:27, but he may have never developed a passion for running without the help of his Youth Villages mentors, James and Mary. Jarrett was first introduced to running as hobby by participating in the runners club at Youth Villages’ Bartlett Campus. James and Mary, volunteers with the runners club, saw talent in the teen and became his mentors through the Youth Villages mentoring program.

    James and Mary ran alongside Jarrett both on the track and through his treatment process at Youth Villages. They often picked him up before school to run with him and took him on fun outings, such as going out to dinner and to movies. They also encouraged him to pursue his goals, such as joining his schools cross country team and participating in his first half marathon. With the help of his caring mentors, Jarrett is now working toward living as a successful adult and will attend the University of Memphis in the fall.

    Youth Villages has 135 mentors like James and Mary who are instrumental in helping children develop their interests and set goals. Mentors spend four to six hours per month for six months with their mentees, participating in activities they both enjoy, such as visiting local attractions, developing shared interests and volunteering together.

    Youth Villages provides an array of services to help mentors successfully relate to their mentees. Mentors complete an initial training session and are interviewed to help match them with a child with whom they share common interests. Mentor liaisons are available to provide full-time support to mentors, and Youth Villages offers quarterly training sessions for mentors on specific issues that their mentees may be facing. Recent training sessions have covered topics such as bullying, effective communication with mentees, and a question and answer panel with Youth Villages staff. Youth Villages also occasionally schedules group activities for mentors and mentees, including picnics, movies and game nights.

    As a result of successful mentoring relationships, children are less likely to drop out of school or experience trouble with the law and learn to build good relationships with their families and those around them.

    If you are interested in becoming a mentor with Youth Villages, fill out our interest form.

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    Mentors Needed!

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 09, 2012

    TEAM mentors and mentees enjoy a game of kickball

    TEAM mentors and mentees enjoy a game of kickball

    The Grizzlies Foundation has been looking for adults to be Team Mentors. And we need men the most.

    The Grizzlies Foundation is nearing the completion of our 50 mentors in 50 days campaign to find teams of 3 mentors who work with 9 students for the 2012-13 school year.

    We have been successful in recruiting many new female mentors, but as we are expanding the size of the program, there are many 7th grade boys who want male mentors. Listen to mentor Freddie Norman and what he has gained by being a mentor (:46 into the video).

    If you are interested in being a mentor, visit our website and fill out the application.  Spots are limited for women and more men are needed. Please forward this or the link to the application to anyone you feel might be interested. There is no commitment now. This is the first step to giving what you know to the next generation.

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    Mentor Voices: Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 02, 2012

    Team mentees enact their skit about their key value in life

    Team mentees enact their skit about their key value in life

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    50 mentors in 50 days: We show you testimonies of TEAM Mentors and why they mentor

    Why do they mentor youth through the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program? How do they define mentoring?

    Freddie Norman answers the first question thusly, “I’ve learned to listen to young people again. Before I wasn’t really listening, I was just looking at them, now I’m able to listen to them and help guide them to a better outcome of their lives.”

    Yvette Washington says regarding the second question, “Being that person they can come to and confide in, talk to, get guidance from, so (being a mentor has) been a lot of things.”

    Watch this Youtube video to see the rest of their responses and others. Like the video, share it and most importantly, if you are interested in joining a team, fill out our application and we’ll contact you.

    Support our 50 mentors in 50 days by passing this link or others along to friends and colleagues who may be interested.

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    Memories of Warren W. Whitlinger

    Posted by Jenny Koltnow on June 14, 2012

    Jenny Koltnow (R), Exec. Dir, Grizzlies Foundation, with Elizabeth Simpson (L) Founding Director, Grizzlies Prep Charter School

    Jenny Koltnow (R), Exec. Dir, Grizzlies Foundation, with Elizabeth Simpson (L) Founding Director, Grizzlies Prep Charter School

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Last week, I learned of the passing of Warren W. Whitlinger. My heart sank. Tears welled in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. As accomplished in corporate leadership training as he was developing young tennis talent, known to his grandchildren as “Baba” and to everyone else, “Grandpa Whit,” was gone.

    Mr. Whit was my first mentor.

    I met Mr. Whit the summer I turned nine years old. I arrived to the Smith Park tennis courts in Menasha with department-store variety tennis racquet in hand, ready to play. I was introduced to a jovial gentleman who immediately felt like a long lost relative. I recall discussing my interest in tennis, which, at that point, was still forming after a single summer of Park and Recreation Department lessons. Over the course of the next hour, he tossed a few balls, critiqued my form, evaluated my footwork, praised my attitude. He encouraged me to come back the following week.

    And come back I did. Once a week, I’d ride my bike to lessons, sometimes at Doty Park, but typically at Smith Park. We’d work on forehands, backhands, volleys and the like… and have long conversations while picking up balls or when standing on the baseline practicing serves.

    After several years of private lessons, I joined drill groups so I could keep playing during the Wisconsin winters. Each Wednesday night, alongside other aspiring Chrissy Everts and Johnny Macs, we’d meet in an old converted barn, hidden by 200 year-old trees and containing a single tennis court, right in the center of Neenah. During these lessons, we’d crowd around Mr. Whit, not only because he was soft-spoken and we clung to every word; the over-sized heating unit that kept “The Barn” warm rattled noisily during the hour-long lessons.

    A year or two after meeting him, I recall a photo of his entire family on the cover of the Sunday paper.  Flanked by his children and grandchildren—including national tennis champions Tami and Teri Whitlinger, his granddaughters, and Stanford University Men’s Head Tennis Coach, John Whitlinger, his son, Mr. Whit was celebrating his seventieth birthday. Being just ten years old, I was pretty psyched that I knew a celebrity.

    As years passed and my tennis skills improved, I had the opportunity to take “mental toughness” lessons with Mr. Whit. Generally, these were intended to be hour-long sessions to discuss tennis strategy, goal-setting and the mental skills required for winning matches. These sessions would take place in Mr. Whit’s den—a cozy, warm room in the back of his house, made magical by the hundreds of framed photos, articles, tennis art and quotes covering every inch of wall space. I couldn’t get enough of it. He displayed something for every milestone reached and award received by family, students and himself.

    It was around this time that Mr. Whit had started executive leadership training with several major companies around Wisconsin. Here as a young teen, I’d listen to the same audio cassettes of Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins and Steven Covey, but as a tennis player, I’d also study video of perfect serves, model backhands, and winning overheads. We’d discuss attitude, self-talk, and confidence. I’d envision myself making a perfect winning backhand and practice holding my racquet in a way that relieved tension from my arm.

    During a critical period during my teen years, Mr. Whit and I were working on a process for goal-setting. While I am sure he hoped I’d set goals for winning matches or raising my state ranking, I instead set goals for my health and education. Mr. Whit supported my plan every step of the way and praised the thought and detail I put into this exercise. It worked—I didn’t just reach these goals, I exceeded them.

    Mr. Whit regularly gave me Zerox-printed sheets containing cartoons and quotes. On occasion, I’d place these on a mirror or closet door for easy reference. Most of the time, I stuffed them in a drawer. Regardless, many of these lessons found their way to my subconscious.

    “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare to win is essential.”

    “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

    While the intent was to make me a tougher tennis player, the result was making me a stronger, more focused and more confident individual.

    Years after my “mental training” had ended, I’d graduated from graduate school and had gotten married, I went to see Mr. Whit.  By this time, he was in his late eighties. He sat me down in his Magic Den and wanted to show me something. There it was—a carbon copy of my original “goal plan” that I had written more than thirteen years earlier. He had saved it all this time… and had even used it when training tennis players and corporate leaders about goal-setting.

    Because I use the word “mentor” in my job about a thousand times each day and interact with volunteer mentors, program leaders, students and teachers so regularly, I oftentimes think about who mentored me.  I think about who helped me become the person I am today. I think about the experiences that have helped shaped my interests and aspirations. 

    I didn’t use the word mentor then. I didn’t even hear this word until college. But just calling them coaches, teachers, even friends never seemed to adequately depict our relationships… or what these individuals meant to me.

    My mentors like Mr. Whit were authentic. They were open. They showed compassion. They offered feedback. They offered encouragement. They were eager to teach. They made me laugh. They let me cry. They believed in me when I doubted myself.

    Mr. Whit died on April 30, 2012. He was 98 years old. He lived life to the fullest every single day of those 98 years.

    Mr. Whit, I miss you. I am blessed beyond words to have had the opportunity to call you coach, friend and mentor. Thank you for the wisdom you shared and guidance given. I’ll remember you always.

    Love, Jenny


    Mr. Whit’s obituary may be found at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/postcrescent/obituary.aspx?n=warren-whitlinger&pid=157365981

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    Memphis Grizzlies & Grizzlies Foundation named to shortlist in Sport Team of the Year category

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 03, 2012

    The Memphis Grizzlies organization and Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation were named on Tuesday to the prestigious Official Shortlist for the Beyond Sport Awards 2012 in the Sport Team of the Year category. The Grizzlies were selected as one of 30 shortlisted organizations from almost 300 projects worldwide in this year’s awards.

    The Grizzlies Community Investment team and the Grizzlies Foundation join the Boston Celtics (United States), Queens Park Rangers FC (United Kingdom), Tottenham Hotspur (United Kingdom) and RIHP NTH QLD Rubies (Australia) in the “Sport Team of the Year” category.

    “It’s a tremendous honor to be named to the 2012 shortlist. This year, we presented the combined work of the Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies, both which operate initiatives and outreach to advance education and youth development in the Memphis region,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.  “We’re grateful to our Grizzlies colleagues and partners throughout Memphis who’ve helped us achieve this milestone.”

    The Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative, Grizzlies Read to Achieve and Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiatives were highlighted in this year’s application, as were partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others. Over 25,000 youth are served each year through these combined efforts.

    For reaching the Shortlist stage, Koltnow will represent the Grizzlies organization in London, England for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards from July 23-25.  The Summit, an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential global leaders, will provide a platform for the Grizzlies Foundation to continue to develop the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative and yield new resources for the Grizzlies’ community investment programs.  The event will culminate with the announcement of the winners of the Beyond Sport Awards 2012.

    Nick Keller, the Founder of Beyond Sport, commented: “The Beyond Sport Awards unearth leaders using sport as a tool for positive change and provide them with the resources, platform, contacts and opportunities to turbo-charge their growth and impact. We are delighted to reveal this year’s shortlist, which comes after many hours of deliberation from more than 25 experts in their field. To be chosen from more than 300 entries for a place on this shortlist represents a fantastic achievement on the part of all these projects.”

    As a nominated project, the Grizzlies also will be receiving additional support and opportunities leading up to the Summit, including a media and promotional pack to help spread the word and gain recognition for the nomination and eligibility to specific funding and support opportunities available through Beyond Sport’s clients and partners specifically for Awards nominees.

    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the community.  The Grizzlies Foundation has donated over $28 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception.  To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org. 

    The mission of the Memphis Grizzlies community investment department is to create opportunities for area youth through community outreach, education and sport development initiatives. For more information on the Memphis Grizzlies and Grizzlies Community Investment, please visit grizzlies.com, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow @memgrizz on Twitter.

    Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.  The Beyond Sport Awards program provides a package of funding and business support annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.  For more information, visit beyondsport.org.
    ........

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    Dante Cunningham and Jeremy Pargo visit Veritas Prep

    Posted by Eric Bleier on April 30, 2012

    Dante, Pete and Jeremy taking questions from students

    Dante, Pete and Jeremy taking questions from students

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Along with Pete Pranica, the players talk about their lives

    On April 24th, students who had just finished a long day of TCAP testing got a special visit from Grizzlies players Dante Cunningham and Jeremy Pargo, and Grizzlies television play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica.

    After getting ready for the playoffs at practice, the guys headed over to the school to share some stories with the students and teachers. Dante talked about his basketball battles with his older sister, Davalyn, who played in the WNBA. She routinely would beat him in one on one games until he finally reached his 6’8” height.

    Jeremy has a similar story as his brother Jannero plays with the Atlanta Hawks. Prior to signing with the Grizzlies, Jeremy spoke about what a difficult time he had playing in Israel because he was so far from home, family and the other things he was used to.

    Pete asked the the players questions and then later they handed out Grizzlies Team Up shirts to some of the students. Everyone of the students wanted autographs from the players and they signed something for everyone.

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    Grizzlies Foundation supports growing career-oriented mentoring in Memphis and across the country

    Posted by JD Graffam on April 04, 2012

    Grizzlies Foundation Manager offers support to an innovative national project promoting career-oriented group mentoring

    While perfect Florida weather and balmy ocean breezes dominated the landscape outdoors, Grizzlies Charitable Foundation Manager Alayne Shoenfeld and mentoring colleagues from five other states spent three days in intensive training sessions for C-CORE, a project of the Home Builders Institute (HBI) supported by MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership. Through a series of programs operating in 11 states across the country, C-CORE (Construction Coaching Opportunities to Reach Employment) matches adults with teams of three young people to explore the many options and opportunities for careers in the home building industry.

    The HBI/MENTOR collaboration was created to strengthen career-oriented mentoring programs by providing mentoring professionals with expertise in new mentoring and evidence-based practices. Alayne was tapped by MENTOR to serve as the TA provider for program sites in the Mid-South and Southeast. Speaking during several sessions and serving on a panel, she worked with C-CORE colleagues to connect the best practices in mentoring with the career-based outcomes of the various programs. This was Alayne’s third appearance at a C-CORE conference, and she provides ongoing technical support through monthly conference calls and webinars on topics of interest to the individual programs.

    The Grizzlies Foundation TEAM UP initiative is designed to connect caring adults with community youth and provide support to the Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance, a network of local mentoring organizations. The Grizzlies Foundation has been an active affiliate of MENTOR for four years and technical assistance and training are among the many services the Grizzlies Foundation offers to Alliance members.

    For more information on mentoring training and technical assistance, contact Alayne at 205-1253 or ashoenfeld@grizzlies.com.

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    Andy Grammer visits Power Center Academy

    Posted by Joel Katz on March 29, 2012

    Grammer spoke with the students and performed two songs

    Grammer spoke with the students and performed two songs

    Lance Murphey

    On Tuesday March 27, the Grizzlies Foundation hosted an exclusive event at Power Center Academy with S-Curve Records recording artist, Andy Grammer. Andy spent time talking with the 9th grade students and discussed his rise into the mainstream music scene, the importance of service and creativity,  and how a burning desire to succeed can make your dreams come true. His charisma, sense of humor and humility won over every student and adult in the room.

    View photos of the event on our Facebook page!

    Fan loyalty was permanently secured when he performed his two hit songs, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.”

    Andy was joined by Dan Pearson, VP of Marketing and Promotions for S-Curve Records. Dan opened the program by talking about his journey through the music industry and the grind it takes to make it to the top. At the end of the event, the two –both superstars in the music business—fielded questions from Power Center Academy students.

    Also present were the volunteer mentors who spend time each week at Power Center through the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program. Andy met privately to shake hands, take pictures, and sign autographs with all the mentoring teams following the event. It’s safe to say that he earned himself a new crop of fans in Memphis, Tennessee!

    Follow Andy on Twitter at @andygrammer and the Grizzlies Foundation at @grizzliesteamup.

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    TEAM Mentoring Service Day

    Posted by Joel Katz on March 02, 2012

    Some of the 1000 sandwiches

    Some of the 1000 sandwiches

    Photo by Mike Brown

    Saturday, February 25th was the annual Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring Community Service project.  This year’s event was hosted at the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) where the mentoring teams were set to make brown-bag lunches for local Memphis homeless shelters.

    Over 90 volunteer mentors and students participated in the project and ended up assembling over 1,000 lunches. “It was very enjoyable to see the kids so excited about helping,” said Carly Knight, a TEAM Mentor at KIPP Memphis. It was evident that everyone at the event seemed to have a great time serving their community. The relationships between mentors and students were also strengthened as a result. “I feel that this project brought us closer together because it put us on the same level as far as helping people in need,” Knight added.

    When all was said and done, the lunches provided Saturday afternoon meals for four homeless shelters: Memphis Union Mission, Salvation Army, Memphis Family Shelter, and Calvary Rescue Mission. “It was great to see the kids so positive and enthusiastic to serve their home community,” says Grizzlies Foundation Coordinator, Joel Katz. “When you’re able to get a bunch of people working together for a common cause, great things can happen. We witnessed that on Saturday!”

    Following the Service project, the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program will then shift gears and engage in five-weeks of Health and Wellness themed activities.

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    Staxtacular 2012 surpasses all records from previous seven years

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 29, 2012

    Rudy celebrating another great event

    Rudy celebrating another great event

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and the Soulsville Foundation today announced that Staxtacular 2012, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Stax Music Academy, surpassed all past records in attendance and money raised. The crowd of guests during the February 11, 2012 event was at capacity at almost 500 people, and the event raised approximately $120,000 from sponsorships, ticket sales, and online, silent and live auctions. To recognize the record-breaking achievements, there will be a special on-court presentation prior to tip-off of the February 29th game against the Dallas Mavericks.

    This was the eighth consecutive year for Staxtacular, which has always taken place in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Hosts for the event this year were Memphis Grizzlies players Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and 2012 NBA All-Star Marc Gasol. All team members, Head Coach Lionel Hollins and other Grizzlies front office management were in attendance. Entertainment was provided by the Stax Music Academy and the DMP Band.

    Known as one of the biggest parties of the year, Staxtacular is the annual soul-shakin’ throw-down and auction that benefits the Stax Music Academy and honors the Stax Records legacy. All proceeds from the event go to Stax Music Academy’s youth mentoring and music programs. The Stax Music Academy is a unique learning center that inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance and leadership skills by utilizing music with a strong focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records.

    About the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation:
    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation is committed to placing volunteer mentors in the lives of at-risk kids in Memphis. The Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness and builds partnerships throughout the community.

    Shortlisted for the 2011 “Sports Team of the Year” Award by London-based Beyond Sport and winner of the 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award Winner for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, the Grizzlies Foundation has donated $28 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative, e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.com.

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    It’s the Simple Things that Make the Difference

    Posted by Joel Katz on February 14, 2012

    Building camaraderie and sharing laughs is as simple as laying out a board and rolling the dice. This past week in Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring, the mentors and mentees had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company by playing their favorite board games with one another. Who would have thought that something this simple would produce such a good time?

    Many of the students in the mentoring program had never played Taboo, Trouble, Jenga, or Monopoly before. That didn’t stop them from learning the rules quickly and challenging their mentors and teammates. While observing 90 students and 30 mentors across three days of board game fun, the question that kept coming up was, who’s having more fun here, the mentors or the mentees?

    Judging by the laughs and energy in the room, it’s safe to say that everyone had a great time. You don’t need to go over the top to create fulfilling experiences for your mentee. Grabbing a dusty old board game from your home is all it takes. The consensus among the mentors was how great it was to just sit around the board and enjoy each other’s company.

    The next time you’re figuring out something fun to do with your mentee, don’t think too hard. Just grab an old board game and let the good times roll!

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    Recent press clips about mentoring and the Grizzlies Foundation

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 30, 2012

    The Memphis Business Journal recently wrote an article describing the new partnership between the Grizzlies Foundation and Duncan-Williams, who will become the sponsor of the Foundation’s Team Up Mentoring Initiative.

    Read the article here.

    Additionally, The Commercial Appeal ran two articles about mentoring.

    One featured letters from mentees thanking their mentors at US Dream Academy and Memphis Athletic Ministries, and the other written by Alayne Shoenfeld about the Grizzlies Foundation’s efforts with brief highlights of mentors.

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    Grizzlies Charitable Foundation Announce Partnership with Duncan-Williams, Inc.

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 30, 2012

    Grizzlies Foundation Vice Chair Elliot Perry and Duncan Williams, President of Duncan-Williams, Inc.

    Grizzlies Foundation Vice Chair Elliot Perry and Duncan Williams, President of Duncan-Williams, Inc.

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation announced an integrated partnership with Duncan-Williams, Inc., which will make them the title sponsor of Grizzlies TEAM UP, the Foundation’s internationally-recognized youth mentoring initiative. Additionally, through their corporate mentoring effort, Duncan-Williams, Inc. has actively encouraged employees and their families to serve as mentors as part of the partnership.

    “This is a significant milestone for the Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring initiative, and we’re grateful to have a passionate, committed partner in youth mentoring like Duncan-Williams,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation. “This support will enable us to strengthen and expand outreach and more importantly, place volunteer mentors in the lives of many more kids. With their employee volunteerism and financial investment in mentoring, Duncan-Williams has become a model for the Memphis business community.”

    “Duncan-Williams is built on a principle of understanding. Our corporate tag line, “A firm understanding”, guides us in all our endeavors,” explained President Duncan F. Williams. “As corporate and private citizens of Memphis, we understand the role that we play in fostering a better community. In discussing how we could make a significant difference in the community, we realized that working with our city’s youth through mentoring initiatives would make a positive impact today and for years to come. Through the Grizzlies Charitable Foundation we found the ideal vehicle to help us achieve our goals by becoming the presenting sponsor of the Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring initiative. This partnership will allow Duncan-Williams to make a significant contribution to mentoring efforts in Memphis as well as provide an outlet for our employees to become mentors in the lives of our youth.”

    In celebration of the partnership and President Obama’s proclamation of January as National Mentoring Month, the Grizzlies Foundation hosted Grizzlies Mentoring Night when Memphis faced the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 30 at FedExForum. Special in-game features to recognize those who support youth mentoring included:

    o 400+ mentors and children attended the game
    o A special, on-court presentation of new Grizzlies Foundation partner Duncan-Williams, Inc.
    o An Ashley Furniture HomeStore “Mentor of the Game” was honored
    o 30 Mentors and children were in the pre-game fan tunnel
    o Grizz Girls wore TEAM UP shirts
    o All guest services and concessions wore Grizzlies TEAM UP shirts

    The Grizzlies Foundation-Duncan-Williams, Inc. partnership highlights the growth of corporate mentoring in Memphis. In the last 12 months, companies like Duncan-Williams, Inc. have aligned with the Grizzlies Foundation and have actively championed mentoring and engaged large numbers of employees in mentoring young people through an employee engagement program. These companies include: Smith & Nephew Orthopedics, Accredo, Baker Donelson, Pinnacle Airlines and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. In addition, Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a presenting sponsor for the “Mentor of the Game” recognition during eight games during the 2011-2012 season.

    About the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation:
    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation is committed to placing volunteer mentors in the lives of at-risk kids in Memphis. The Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness and builds partnerships throughout the community. Shortlisted for the 2011 “Sports Team of the Year” Award by London-based Beyond Sport and winner of the 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award Winner for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, the Grizzlies Foundation has donated $28 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative, e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org.

    About Duncan-Williams, Inc.:
    Duncan-Williams, Inc., is a Top 100 Brokerage Firm headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Founded in 1969, the firm is a full-service brokerage and investment banking firm providing financial solutions to individuals and institutional organizations in 50 states and 11 foreign countries. Duncan-Williams, Inc., is a member of FINRA and SIPC. Duncan-Williams, Inc., has offices in Akron, OH, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Gainesville, FL, Houston, TX, Jackson, MS, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA and Tampa, FL. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certifies Duncan-Williams, Inc., as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). The firm was named to the 2010 and 2011 Inc. 5000, Inc. magazine’s annual ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America.

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    Building Awareness during National Mentoring Month

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 10, 2012

    January is recognized as National Mentoring Month. But for the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, mentoring is considered a year-long endeavor.

    Since its inception, the Grizzlies Foundation’s mission has been to get the local community involved in mentoring. And since they began recognizing National Mentoring Month in 2005, the Grizzlies Foundation has seen efforts grow exponentially.

    “I think it has taken on more and more significance as the Memphis community has become more familiar with Grizzlies TEAM UP,” said Jenny Koltnow, executive director of the Grizzlies Foundation. “One of the more exciting things is people are recognizing the brand and mission, and they’re asking not only what can I do, but how can I get other people to do something.”

    Grizzlies TEAM UP is the Grizzlies Foundation’s concentrated effort at getting both organizations and individuals involved in mentoring youth across the Memphis region.

    Koltnow stresses that there is no one way to be a mentor. Every program has a different but important focus, from work and technology skills, to college prep and leadership development.

    But the key is for people to give mentoring a chance.

    “There are lots of opportunities out there,”  Koltnow said. “We run the Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance (previously named Memphis Mentoring Partnership) which represents upwards of 20 organizations and 50 unique opportunities to be a mentor. We can really be flexible and find opportunities that are going to work with anyone’s schedule and meet one’s interests and personal goals.”

    “One person can make a difference. A difference in what a child does when they hit a fork in the road.  A difference in the way they see themselves and their future. Mentors can point kids in the right direction, help them make better choices and encourage them to seize the opportunities that come their way.”

    As part of National Mentoring Month, the 2012 National Mentoring Summit will take place Jan. 24-25 in Washington, D.C.

    On Jan. 26, which is “Thank Your Mentor Day,” The Commercial Appeal will print ‘Thank You’ letters from mentees to their mentors. Also that day, the Grizzlies foundation will host a TEAM UP Happy Hour, a recruitment event open to the public.

    And Jan. 30 will be recognized as Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring Night when the Grizzlies host the San Antonio Spurs. That night will also feature a major announcement for TEAM UP.

    “Grizzlies TEAM UP offers an opportunity for anyone to be a part of the Grizzlies team in a meaningful, rewarding way,” Koltnow said. ”If you’re not clear on what it is, what steps to take, you’re not going to get anywhere by just pondering the possibilities. Contact us. Spend some time on grizzliesteamup.org. The entire community is invited to ‘team up’ with us.”

    In addition to the visiting grizzliesteamup.org, you can also receive more information by calling 901. 205.TEAM (8326), or email at mentor@grizzlies.com, or by completing an interest form to let the Foundation know you want to explore opportunities to be a mentor.

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    President Obama Proclaims January as National Mentoring Month

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 04, 2012

    Photo from <a href=Tom Lohdan" />

    Photo from Tom Lohdan

    President Barack Obama has issued a proclamation designating January as National Mentoring Month, saying, “Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into adulthood. By setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing our Nation’s youth for a bright future. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation, and we recommit to expanding mentorship opportunities across our country.”

    January 2012 marks the 11th anniversary of National Mentoring Month, an annual media campaign to recruit volunteer mentors for young people. Spearheaded by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service, this year’s campaign tagline is Invest in the Future. Mentor a Child.

    Mentors, backed by quality mentoring programs, play a powerful role in preventing substance abuse and youth violence, as well as boosting academic achievement and workforce readiness. Studies have shown a more than 250 percent return on a $1 investment in mentoring and myriad quality of life benefits to the mentor, too. Mentors help build young people’s character and confidence, expand their universe and help them navigate pathways to successful adulthood. Despite this proven impact, the gap between the number of mentors and the number of young people who need a mentor is still too large. While three million young people have a mentor, 15 million need a caring adult mentor in their lives.

    “National Mentoring Month gives the mentoring field an opportunity to collectively celebrate the proven impact of quality programs and the impactful service of mentors nationwide while also sounding the call to grow the movement through increased volunteerism and financial investment,” said MENTOR’s President and CEO David Shapiro. “We thank our national partners across sectors, including the media and funders who make it possible to sound that call, and we thank the Mentoring Partnerships and programs that creatively implement and expand the campaign every year and work to close the mentoring gap everyday.”

    “We feel fortunate that President Obama shined the spotlight on National Mentoring Month in this proclamation, and we applaud his and First Lady Michelle Obama’s personal commitment and example through their mentoring programs in the White House,” Shapiro added.

    In his proclamation, Obama noted, “Last January, we partnered with businesses across America to launch the Corporate Mentoring Challenge, which calls on corporations to begin or expand mentoring programs that pair children with positive role models, foster leadership skills and put them on the path to success in school and beyond. As part of our steadfast commitment to support our service members and their loved ones, we are funding new mentorship opportunities for children from military families.  And we are continuing to engage faith and community groups to help recruit mentors who can guide our youth in education, employment and engaged citizenship.”

    Michelle Obama announced the Corporate Mentoring Challenge at the first National Mentoring Summit last January. MENTOR will again host the Summit, along with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and United Way Worldwide, January 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. The Summit gives the field and cross-sector partners an opportunity to learn and grow together to better meet the mentoring needs of the nation’s young people.

    For additional information about National Mentoring Month, visit SERVE.gov/MENTOR.For more information and resources on quality youth mentoring and MENTOR’s network of Mentoring Partnerships and programs, visit www.mentoring.org.

    For information about mentoring in Memphis, contact the Grizzlies Foundation at mentor@grizzlies.com.

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    Celtics legend Bill Russell speaks to business leaders about mentoring

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 21, 2011

    Russell with Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins

    Russell with Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell returned to Memphis after visiting in 2008 to talk with Memphis business leaders about mentoring youth.

    Russell was in town as an honoree for this year’s Freedom Awards presented by the National Civil Rights Museum. Those in attendance received a copy of Russell’s new book, “Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend” with a personalized autograph from Russell.

    But the purpose of the event was to let Russell talk about why he supports mentoring youth. Russell talked about his own personal relationship with Red Auerbach, how Auerbach mentored him and in turn how that influenced his belief that everyone, especially young people, need a mentor in their lives.

    He told a story about how the Boston Red Sox came to him and asked him to throw out the first pitch at a game. His response was to demand they make amends for excluding black ball players until 1959-becoming the last club to integrate-by supporting mentoring programs in Boston.

    That gave way to the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge and their partnership with Mass Mentors.

    Those in attendance left with the message that they must find ways to support mentoring in Memphis. In particular, Bruce Hopkins was so moved that he wrote a letter to the editor of the Commercial Appeal. Hopkins said, “With the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation—considered to be one of the top sports foundations—right here in our backyard, sharing with Russell a commitment to youth mentoring, we need to take every opportunity to promote this work in our hometown.”

    As with the Red Sox Mentoring Challenge, the Grizzlies Foundation’s TEAM UP Mentoring Initiative uses the leverage of professional sports to bring awareness to the need for adults to be mentors for youth. You can start the process to become a mentor by filling out a mentor interest form.

    Click here to see a photo gallery of the event with Russell and guests.

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    Forbes Magazine on building strong customer relationships and the Memphis Grizzlies

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 17, 2011

    Forbes examines the Grizzlies and other customer loyalty programs

    Forbes magazine recently highlighted the Memphis Grizzlies MVP season ticket holder program as an example of programs which build customer loyalty. “Named as the ‘Hottest Team in Sports’ in 2011 by ESPN The Magazine, the franchise has gone to great lengths to put into practice one of the four fundamental principles practiced by some of today’s leading marketers: strong customer relationships build long-term loyalty.”

    The Grizzlies Foundation TEAMmates program is modeled after the MVP program and seeks to achieve a similar goal: to reward volunteers who mentor with Foundation mentoring programs and to help retain them as mentors in order to build long-term relationships.

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    Grizzlies Foundation donates $370,000 in grants to non-profit partners

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 03, 2011

    Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins and Foundation Vice Chair Elliot Perry tour the Choosing to Participate exhibit.

    Grizzlies Coach Lionel Hollins and Foundation Vice Chair Elliot Perry tour the Choosing to Participate exhibit.

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation announced the donation of $370,000 in new grants to Memphis nonprofit organizations Tuesday, Nov. 1 during the annual Grizzlies Foundation Partners Breakfast at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Ave.). 

    This year’s distribution of grants brings the total giving by the Grizzlies Foundation to Memphis nonprofit organizations to over $28.3 million.  Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace, Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins, Grizzlies play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica and local owner Elliot Perry were on hand for the event.

    The Grizzlies Foundation’s mission to serve Memphis youth through education and mentoring saw it welcome two new charitable organizations to their circle of yearly grant recipients: Facing History and Ourselves and AGAPE Child & Family Services. In addition, the Foundation reviewed Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring, a new school-based model matching three mentors to nine students;  discussed the growth in mentoring in Memphis throughout the last year; and highlighted corporate mentoring partners.

    Additional organizations receiving grants included: ArtsMemphis, Church Health Center, Exchange Club, Girls Incorporated of Memphis, Leadership Academy, Leadership Memphis, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Memphis PREP Program, MIFA, Mid-South Food Bank, STREETS Ministries, and United Way of the Mid-South.

    Following the distribution of grants, tours were offered of the library’s “Choosing to Participate” exhibit, a multifaceted educational and civic initiative created by Facing History and Ourselves which encourages young people and adults to think about the importance of participating in a democratic society.  For more information about Facing History and Ourselves and Choosing to Participate, visit facinghistory.org and choosingtoparticipate.org.

    The Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers volunteer mentors, provides training and technical assistance to youth mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the Greater Memphis community.  The Grizzlies Foundation has been shortlisted for the 2011 “Sport Team of the Year” Award by Beyond Sport with the winner named in December 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become a part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative, e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit grizzliesteamup.org.

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    Lunch Buddies enjoy more than a meal!

    Posted by JD Graffam on August 31, 2011

    A new volunteer opportunity is set to launch at Veritas College Preparatory Charter School

    Wouldn’t it be fun to join a student in grade 6 or 7 for lunch once a week for conversation and companionship? A new volunteer program called “Lunch Buddies” will give you a chance to do just that!

    “Lunch Buddies” is a weekly commitment during the school year to spend 30 minutes on a Tuesday or Thursday during the scholar’s assigned lunch time. The program is expected to begin October 4.

    “Volunteers who enjoy a meal with a Veritas College Prep scholar embody the hopes and dreams that the scholar’s family and the Veritas College Prep family hold for that scholar,” notes Milan Rouse, Dean of Community Engagement at Veritas and coordinator of this exciting new opportunity. “We know that ‘they will be what they see.”

    Veritas College Preparatory Charter School, located at 168 Jefferson in the heart of downtown Memphis, is a public charter school with a focus on college and career readiness. Veritas College Prep equips each of its scholars to graduate from a four-year college or university and to contribute to the community as accomplished professionals.

    The ideal mentor would hold a four-year college degree or higher, work in a professional capacity or attend graduate school, and be committed to the idea that every child can and should graduate from a four-year college or university.

    For more information or an application form, contact Alayne Shoenfeld at the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation at 901-205-1253 or email ashoenfeld@grizzlies.com.

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    Grizzlies Foundation named to shortlist “Sport Team of the Year”

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 13, 2011

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation today was named to the prestigious Official Shortlist for the Beyond Sport Awards 2011 in the Sport Team of the Year category. The Grizzlies Foundation’s TEAM UP Youth Mentoring Initiative was selected as one of 35 shortlisted organizations from almost 400 projects from over 125 countries worldwide in this year’s Awards.

    “This is an incredible honor for us,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation. “The Beyond Sport Awards highlight the Grizzlies Foundation’s dedication and leadership in expanding and supporting sustainable youth mentoring programs in Memphis. It also recognizes the unprecedented generosity of our Board and the support from the Grizzlies team.  We anticipate this award will bring new partners, resources and volunteers to our mentoring programs and into the lives of kids in Memphis.”

    For reaching the Shortlist stage, Koltnow will represent the Grizzlies organization in Cape Town, South Africa for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards from Dec. 5-8.  The Summit, an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential global leaders, will provide a platform for the Grizzlies Foundation to continue to develop the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative.

    The Grizzlies Foundation joins the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles (United States), the Manchester City Football Club (United Kingdom) and the Liverpool Football Club (United Kingdom) in the Sport Team of the Year category.

    As a nominated project, the Grizzlies also will be receiving additional support and opportunities leading up to the Summit, including the following: the opportunity to be selected by CNN as a featured project for the network’s Beyond Sport Week segment; a platform to promote its efforts at Beyond Sport United at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Sept. 27; an exclusive invitation to PWC masterclasses; and eligibility to specific funding and support opportunities available through Beyond Sport’s clients specifically for Awards nominees.

    Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the community.  To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit teamupmemphis.org. 

    The 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award Winner for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, the Grizzlies Foundation has donated $27 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. 

    Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.  The Beyond Sport Awards program provides a package of funding and business support annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.  For more information, visit beyondsport.org.

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    Online Training for Mentors: Talking it Through Communication Skills for Mentors

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 12, 2011

    Explore how to communicate effectively with youth

    Explore how to communicate effectively with youth

    A new online training resource from Education Northwest uses video stories with real mentors, real youth and real situations.

    Talking it Through: Communication Skills for Mentors promotes successful mentor/youth interactions and relationship-building. This resource is free and requires only that the user sign up to begin training.

    Talking it Through includes 13 video stories that are between three and seven minutes in length, tips and resources, learning checks and a printable journal feature.
    To access Talking it Through, visit their website.

    Learning Outcomes
    As a result of this course, you will be able to …

    •Handle difficult situations and challenges through consistent recommended approaches
    •Empathize with mentees by noticing verbal and non-verbal cues
    •Redirect mentee requests that are outside the boundaries of the mentor-mentee relationship and know when to refer them to program staff and/or adhere to mandatory reporting requirements
    •Help youth identify their options and provide recommendations without judgment or coercion

    Course Elements:

    •13 video stories running 3-7 minutes each
    •Tips and resources
    •Printable journal feature
    •Learning checks

    Site Requirements:

    •You will need to have the latest Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer and the sound enabled.
    •Optional: broadband connection

    Talking it Through was created by Education Northwest (formerly Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory). Since 1998, Education Northwest has operated the National Mentoring Center (NMC), providing training and technical assistance, research, and evaluation support to thousands of mentoring programs across the country.

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    Martha Jackson describes her experience as a MCS CONNECT Mentor

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 11, 2011

    Martha Jackson with her mentee

    Martha Jackson with her mentee

    Martha J. Jackson has been a mentor with the Memphis City Schools CONNECT Mentoring Program since 2008. She had just retired from Memphis City Schools and strongly wanted to be able to give back to the community and make a positive, productive difference in a child’s life.

    “My mentee told me that she enjoyed meeting with me each week because I was a person that offered a lending ear that she could discuss things with, good or bad and that I offered helpful, positive options of handling situations,” Martha noted.  “That really made my year! “

    In addition to being a volunteer mentor, she is a strong supporter of mentoring, encouraging other adults to get involved. “There are so many children in this city who need positive directions and positive role models.  You can be that person and make a positive, productive difference in a child’s life, one meeting at a time,” Ms. Jackson continued. “And if you are a parent, it gives you a second opportunity to right some of the information that you wish you had shared with your own children!”

    Martha didn’t hesitate to talk about the impact the time she has spent in mentoring and the relationship with her mentee had on her life.  “My mentee is an athlete and I attended her games.  Looking in her face, seeing the approval and hearing her thanking me for supporting her, listening intensely to my praises and constructive criticism (I am a former athlete myself) of her performance just gives me the ‘warmest, fuzziest’ feeling.  All this validates that I have an additional purpose and that I am meeting my goal in making a positive impact in this child’s life.”

    You can make a difference as a mentor with CONNECT or another program. Fill out an interest form and we will recommend a mentoring program to you.

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    Youth Villages’ leader Pat Lawler discusses their work and successes

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 11, 2011

    Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow with Pat Lawler, Mayor AC Wharton and Foundation Board Member Elliot Perry

    Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow with Pat Lawler, Mayor AC Wharton and Foundation Board Member Elliot Perry

    Serving over 17,000 youth, the "plan over the next five years is to almost double."

    MBQ interviews Youth Villages’ CEO Pat Lawler about the growth of Youth Villages from a program struggling to survive to a successful program serving over 17,000 children in 67 facilities across 11 states and employs 2,500 staff.

    Youth Villages is a Grizzlies Foundation TEAM UP partner and works largely with children who are in foster care or have suffered from some form of abuse and need treatment. Read how in addition to helping all these children, they raise money to support Youth Villages’ $165 million budget. While they currently have 400 residential beds for youth involved with their residential treatment program, Lawler believes in-home services with counselors is more effective and less expensive than residential programs.

    You can directly help Youth Villages by becoming a mentor for a young person. Fill out our interest form and join the team!

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    Grizzlies Foundation’s 2010-2011 season recap

    Posted by Eric Bleier on June 17, 2011

    This season saw the Grizzlies make it to the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals. This season also saw the Grizzlies Foundation start a TEAM Mentoring program at two charter schools, create a rewards and special opportunities program for all mentors and begin using a new customer relationship management database.

    Just as Grizzlies fans are looking forward to the team’s next season, those of us here at the Grizzlies Foundation are looking forward with great interest to see what this next “season” will bring as far as spreading awareness of the need for adults to mentor youth.

    The TEAM Mentoring program, piloted this year at two local charter schools, Freedom Prep Academy and at Power Center Academy, featured 15 adults from all over Memphis meeting with 45 students weekly to learn about each other, participate in community service projects and most importantly to develop the trust that comes with a mentoring relationship. Read the recap about this first semester here. In the Fall these programs will double in size; to learn how you could be a TEAM mentor fill out an interest form.

    The Grizzlies Foundation also created a special “club” for mentors called TEAMmates. Built for mentors with Grizzlies Foundation non-profit partners, this program is our way of thanking mentors for the time they spend with youth. We seek out tickets, access to special events and host our own social and training events and offer these to mentors. This year the one hundred plus TEAMmates got tickets to several Grizzlies games, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Rock n Soul Museum, the Jon Bon Jovi concert and various trainings and social events through the year. If you are a mentor with a Grizzlies Foundation partner, fill out the online form at the bottom of this link and join the club!

    Finally, in order for us to better communicate with prospective and active mentors the Grizzlies Foundation began using Salesforce, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. Thanks to Memphis-based Cloud for Good which shaped the cloud-based database to our needs and did the grunt work of uploading our data, we are much better positioned to accurately follow all those interested in learning about mentoring from filling out our online interest form, to referring them to programs, and finally continuing the conversation with active mentors.

    You can continue the conversation with us too by joining our e-newsletter, emailing us directly , or filling out our mentor interest form. We plan on having a successful “season” this year, so get on board with us and with mentoring youth in Memphis! Go Grizzlies!

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    Mentoring advocate Bill Russell establishes grant program as part of Legacy Project

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 24, 2011

    Bill Russell encouraging people to be mentors in 2008

    Bill Russell encouraging people to be mentors in 2008

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Bill Russell Legacy Project includes support for mentoring programs in Boston

    Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell visited Memphis in 2008 to talk about the need for adults to spend a little time as a mentor to youth, and he will continue his vocal support of mentoring by providing grants to ensure youth in Boston have access to quality, structured mentoring programs.

    The Mass Mentoring Partnership, a MENTOR affiliate, is partnering with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and the City of Boston on the Bill Russell Legacy Project. In addition to establishing the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program, which Mass Mentoring will administer, the project will erect a statue of Russell in Boston to celebrate his achievements as the greatest champion in the history of professional sports, as a national leader in human rights and as a dedicated advocate for youth mentoring.

    “We are so proud to play a role in this effort that Mayor Menino and the Celtics have made so reflective of Bill’s lifetime of activism, as well as his many iconic accomplishments in Boston,” Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro said. “They have created a living legacy of Bill’s catalytic social justice leadership that will inspire future generations of our city’s youth through the proven impact of mentoring.”

    In his remarks last week, Russell noted a poem that made an impression on him in high school. The James Russell Lowell piece read: “It is not what we give, but what we share. Because the gift, without the giver, is bare.” Russell also mentioned that his mother gave him “Felton” as his middle name after Felton Clark, a former president of Southern University in Louisiana. “It was a reminder that his goal was to get to college,” Russell said. “I’m trying to share that with the next generations of Americans.”

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    New Institute for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership at University of Memphis

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 20, 2011

    Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow serves as advisory board member

    The University of Memphis Division of Public & Non-Profit Administration recently announced the launch of the Institute for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership. The new institute seeks to promote effective philanthropy, advance non-profit leadership practice and strengthen the non-profit sector through education and research.

    The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs for students and those currently involved in non-profits and philanthropic programs. In addition to education, the institute will form partnerships with the non-profit community in Memphis in order to provide leaders and scholars with research that is relevant and responsive to current issues in the Mid-South.

    Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation, is serving on the advisory board for the new institute along with other non-profit leaders. You can visit the website for the new institute here.

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    Why Memphis Loves its Grizzlies: Article on ESPN.com

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 16, 2011

    Memphis fans believed in this team

    Memphis fans believed in this team

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    What do the Memphis Grizzlies mean to Memphis? LZ Granderson answers this question

    There have been plenty of articles in the local and national news discussing the Grizzlies of late, and I have read most of them because like the rest of Memphis I was swept up in the enthusiasm for the team. Certainly because of the playoff run which was as exciting to watch and participate in as perhaps anything else I have experienced.

    But there was something about this team that spoke to me and the rest of the city I dare say. This team played with effort and hustle, or “heart, grit and grind” if you prefer. During the series with the San Antonio Spurs I saw homemade shirts that said “Go Flop Yourself Ginobli.” That told me these fans want points to come from hustle and hard work, not from flopping, diving or faking to get a foul call.

    I recommend everyone read this brilliant article from ESPN.com’s LZ Granderson about how the history of Memphis shaped the fans to make us uniquely ready to adopt this team.

    I have read a lot of articles about the Grizzlies this season and this one spells out why Memphians from the average fan to the ownership to a former player all love these Grizzlies.

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    NBA NOW! Honored prior to thrilling triple OT game

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 11, 2011

    The NBA NOW Pursuit Team: They Believed

    The NBA NOW Pursuit Team: They Believed

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    Prior to the Grizzlies vs. Thunder game on Monday, May 9, the Memphis Grizzlies honored the NBA Pursuit Group who brought the team to Memphis from Vancouver.

    More than twelve years ago, these dedicated local leaders came together with a unified vision to bring a professional NBA franchise to Memphis, Tennessee. Their goal was simple: to bolster civic pride, engage the community and inspire a city.

    Several of these individuals formed the local ownership group and in 2004, established the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.
    Twelve years later, celebrating its 10th and most successful season to date, the Memphis Grizzlies have become the embodiment of their vision and captured the heart and passion for which the Bluff City is known. 

    Grizz Nation is grateful for the Pursuit Team’s dedication and love of this city. After all, they were the first to BELIEVE.

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    Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring Photo Contest!

    Posted by Eric Bleier on May 03, 2011

    Mentees with a handful of NBA mascots!

    Mentees with a handful of NBA mascots!

    Submit photos of you mentoring to win autographed Memphis Grizzlies items

    Thanks to photo winners Johnnie Hatten and Memphis PREP for their photo submissions!

    Send us photos of you with your mentee to our Facebook page and we will send you Grizz gear!

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    TEAM Mentoring Service Projects a Success

    Posted by Joel Katz on April 26, 2011

    Mentors and mentees pack food at the Mid-South Food Bank

    Mentors and mentees pack food at the Mid-South Food Bank

    Grizzlies TEAM Mentors and students headed out into the community on Saturday, April 16 to participate in a day of service. To encourage civic engagement among the students, the Grizzlies Foundation partnered with the Mid-South Food Bank and Clean Memphis to give participants the choice of either sorting cans for those in need or picking up trash in a local neighborhood. The students showed much anticipation leading up to the event and had even more fun while out there giving back.

    The mentoring teams that voted to support with Clean Memphis had the opportunity to clean-up trash at Germanshire Park in Hickory Hill. They filled up bag after bag of trash and as one student noted, “You wouldn’t even know there was that much trash unless you actually got out here and checked it out.” It was a humbling experience and forced the students to think twice about littering.

    Beyond the empowering feeling of cleaning up their city, the mentors and students had a chance to learn more about one another and strengthen their growing relationships. Says Mike Staley, a mentor at Power Center Academy, “It was a great opportunity to get to know the kids on a personal level and give back to the community alongside the students. Having them know the impact we were making was very gratifying for me and for them.”
    The remaining teams spent their Saturday morning sorting cans at the Mid-South Food Bank. Everyone learned about hunger and were able to make a direct impact on fighting a problem that affects thousands of families across the Mid-South. Mentors and students packed two mobile pantries that will feed 700 families in Munford and Ripley, TN, and sorted 3,000 pounds of food that will provide 2,727 meals.

    The mentors and students were appreciative of the opportunity to bring food to those that wouldn’t otherwise have a meal to eat. TEAM Mentor Mike McGee commented on this experience, “So many times we say we wish someone well, but this time we had a chance to actually act on it. The kids got a chance to be hand-on with this.”

    Before finishing up for the day, mentors and students expressed interest in doing another service project in the near future. For many of the students this was their first experience doing community service. Being able to serve alongside their mentors and peers taught them a powerful lesson in the importance of an active citizen. The Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring program will plan another service project for the 2011-2012 school year.

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    Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation adds new board members

    Posted by Eric Bleier on April 05, 2011

    New Grizzlies Foundation Board Member Pete Pranica

    New Grizzlies Foundation Board Member Pete Pranica

    The Memphis Grizzlies Foundation announced today that Grizzlies guard Mike Conley and the Grizzlies television broadcast duo of Sean Tuohy and Pete Pranica have been named as the newest board members of the Grizzlies Foundation.  The Grizzlies Foundation also announced that Elliot Perry has been named the Vice President of the Board of Directors. 

    The three new board members were selected because of their commitment and support of youth mentoring.  In their role, each will provide leadership and direction to the Foundation and actively participate in Grizzlies Foundation initiatives and events. Perry’s appointment was made because of the leadership he has provided to the Grizzlies Foundation and the prominent role he has played with the Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative. 

    Conley is one of two Grizzlies players to ever join the Grizzlies Foundation Board of Directors, the first being Pau Gasol, who served on the board during his tenure in Memphis.  Conley has been an active participant at in the Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring initiative throughout his NBA career.  For four years, he has served as a host for Staxtacular, an annual event coordinated by the Foundation that supports the Stax Music Academy.  The Academy provides mentoring, music education and exciting performance opportunities designed to enhance students’ music abilities and academic leadership skills.

    “In our Grizzlies family, Mike, Sean and Pete are true champions for youth mentoring. Their personal experiences, insights and outreach will bring the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative to greater prominence and will make the Foundation stronger than ever before,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation.  “Thanks to the groundwork laid by team owners like Elliot Perry, we believe that these additions to our board will increase interest and participation in Grizzlies Foundation endeavors and help us reach many more kids in the Memphis area.”

    An advocate for the Grizzlies Foundation since its inception, Tuohy and his family’s dedication to mentoring and reaching out to children is unparalleled, as was depicted in the major motion picture “The Blind Side.”  Pranica’s passion for youth mentoring is evidenced by his frequent participation in Grizzlies TEAM UP events and partner programs, frequently volunteering at events and serving as a moderator for various Foundation functions. 

    An example of the power of mentoring, Perry has inspired thousands by sharing his personal story, frequently crediting his mentor, Michael Toney, for his experiences and success. His continued leadership has galvanized countless individuals and organizations to support the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative by becoming volunteer mentors and supporting Foundation partners.

    Expanding youth mentoring in Memphis has been a top priority of the Grizzlies Foundation since its inception in 2004.  Through the Grizzlies TEAM UP Initiative, the Grizzlies Foundation engages individuals and organizations from across the Mid-South in mentoring young people by hosting special events, developing outreach programs and initiating public awareness campaigns.  In 2011, the Grizzlies Foundation launched Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring, a program which matches teams of 3 adult mentors to groups of 9 students, which is currently being piloted at two Memphis public charter schools. The Grizzlies Foundation recently launched a website teamupmemphis.org, which offers online sign-up and comprehensive resources for prospective and current mentors, mentoring programs and individuals and organizations interested in youth mentoring.

    For more information go to teamupmemphis.org, or complete an interest form.

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    Grizzlies Foundation/MMP brings mentoring focus and local leaders to conference

    Posted by JD Graffam on March 10, 2011

    Panelists at the DEFY conference

    Panelists at the DEFY conference

    Memphis Mentoring Partnership (MMP) Manager Alayne Shoenfeld was a guest speaker at the 2011 DEFY (Drug Education for Youth) Conference in March, an annual event co-sponsored by United States Navy & Marine Corps Drug Education for Youth Program, United States Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Justice Community Capacity Development Office. More than 200 attended the three-day event, many coming from as far away as Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

    Alayne addressed a general session on the opening day, describing the Grizzlies Foundation’s focus on mentoring and reviewing the “Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring,” the evidence-based standards promoted by MENTOR/The National Mentoring Partnership which serve as the basic structure for successful, sustainable mentoring programs.

    The following day, Alayne was joined by colleagues from MMP member programs for a panel discussion. Participants included Alisha Henley (Memphis PREP Program), Desiree Robertson (Girls Inc.) and Capt. Chad Harris and Capt. Chris Wilson (Pinnacle Airlines Life Skills Program). In describing their different approaches to youth mentoring, panelists demonstrated the changing and expanding world of mentoring, although the “Elements of Effective Practice” remain the common thread that unites mentoring leaders and practitioners to high program standards.

    The DEFY program is a prevention program for youth aged 9 to 12 conducted at sites throughout the world serving both military and civilian families and youth. DEFY offers leadership and life skills training to help young people resist drugs and develop positive behaviors and social skills.

    Although a mentoring component had been a traditional part of this effort, the 2011 conference title “Back to Basics” indicated a commitment to strengthening mentoring as part of the youth development strategy. Conference organizers called on the Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Mentoring Partnership to provide guidance and expertise to get back on track to excellence in youth mentoring throughout the DEFY system.

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    Federal funding for various mentoring programs threatened

    Posted by Eric Bleier on March 10, 2011

    Photo courtesy: <a href=James & Vilija" />

    Photo courtesy: James & Vilija

    This past week the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed and the President signed a two-week continuing resolution to keep the government running through March 18, 2011.

    However, the House passed H.R. 1, a long-term Continuing Resolution that will cut government programs by $100 billion for the rest of this fiscal year. This bill eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), would zero out funding for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program for the remainder of the fiscal year and cuts Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funding by 45 percent.

    These cuts would severely impact several local agencies’ abilities to work with the youth they currently serve and would likely, if the resolution passes, cut off youth from the services and support they have now to help them become responsible, productive citizens.

    Project Aware Mentoring Program (PAMP), operated by Families of Incarcerated Individuals, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ (BBBS) Amachi program and the US Dream Academy all provide caring adult mentors to Memphis area youth who have a family member in prison to provide that young person with a needed role model so he or she can continue to learn and grow to a bright future.

    BBBS of Memphis cites that 70% of youth who have a parent incarcerated will at some point become incarcerated themselves, unless they have a positive role model. If you believe supporting youth through mentoring is important, you can voice your opinion to our local Congressional representatives and ask them to pass a Continuing Resolution that restores funding to CNCS and the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, as well as full funding to OJJDP.

    Senators

    Lamar Alexander
    455 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
    (202) 224-4944
    Web Form: alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email

    Bob Corker
    185 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
    (202) 224-3344
    Web Form: corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe

    House of Representives

    Steve Cohen
    The Clifford Davis / Odell Horton Federal Building
    167 North Main Street, Suite 369
    Memphis, TN 38103
    Phone: (901) 544-4131
    Eamil Contact: http://cohen.house.gov/index.php?option=com_email_form&Itemid=111

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    Update on Team Mentoring Schools

    Posted by Joel Katz on February 25, 2011

    The Grizzlies Foundation’s new TEAM Mentoring pilot program is off to a running start. The program which began in January 2011, successfully finished the fifth sessions this week. Between the two charter schools involved in the program, 15 community volunteers have been matched with 45 students making up 5 total mentoring teams. Each team has begun the process of creating their own identities and are already starting to develop some real chemistry with each other.

    Although the unanticipated winter storms caused three snow days forcing some schedule shuffling, the relationships between the students and their mentors have not suffered.  As Eric Jackson, a mentor at Power Center, put it, “the majority of the kids are starting to open up to us. They are looking forward to the future sessions and have expressed excitement in doing activities with us.”

    This semester’s big project is a day of community service. Mentors and mentees will have the chance to serve with one of two local agencies:  the Mid-South Food Bank and Clean Memphis.

    In preparation for the project, the Grizzlies Foundation invited the CEO’s of both agencies to educate the teams on how they serve the community. The students asked great follow-up questions and seemed sincerely interested in volunteering. The sessions leading up to the April 16 projects will allow the students time to prepare and execute this community service project. While the mentors will be facilitating the sessions, the students will be the ones taking direct ownership of planning for the project.

    “Just six weeks into the Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring pilot, and we’re witnessing incredible connections forming between students and mentors,” said Grizzlies Foundation Executive Director Jenny Koltnow. “The students take great pride in their teams and are very engaged in the weekly sessions. It’s exciting to watch what happens when the students take the discussions to heart and really demonstrate a greater respect for others and responsibility for the team’s well-being.”

    Other highlights of the semester include a second mentor training in mid-March where Grizzlies Foundation staff will offer additional resources to mentors and provide a sneak-peak of what will take place during future sessions.  This mid-term gathering will also give mentors time to network and discuss their experiences with TEAM Mentoring.

    TEAM mentors and students will also attend the Grizzlies vs. LA Clippers game on April 5th. The Grizzlies Foundation will be providing them with tickets, transportation, and food vouchers, as well as in-game recognition, for a night of fun at FedExForum.

    With this first pilot semester not even halfway complete, the feedback from both the mentors and students has been encouraging. It should be exciting to see their teams continue to bond and relationships strengthen.

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    Grizzlies Foundation and MENTOR Launch Group Mentoring Model

    Posted by Eric Bleier on February 08, 2011

    MENTOR announces launch of group mentoring model

    The National Mentoring Partnership, MENTOR, announced the start of two group mentoring programs here in Memphis. Based out of Power Center Academy and Freedom Preparatory Academy, the 16-month pilot program features teams of three adult mentors working with groups of nine students. Weekly activities address career exploration and entrepreneurship, health and wellness, team-building and leadership, cultural understanding and other areas supporting the schools’ values.

    To see a video of team building among the teams of mentors, see the Memphis Connect page with an article and video by team mentor program manager Joel Katz.

     

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    Mentor Monday honoree: Kia Pryor

    Posted by Joel Katz on February 08, 2011

    On Monday, January 31st the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation recognized Kia Pryor as its Mentor Monday honoree. Kia was recognized on the Grizzlies home court during halftime for being an exemplary mentor to Tiffany through the Youth Villages mentoring program.
     
    Kia’s decision to mentor came from a strong desire to reach out and serve as a positive role model, to “give Tiffany someone to look up to.” Mentoring to Kia is all about “being able to support, show love, be dedicated and committed, and give from my heart.” As she continues to build this relationship with Tiffany, Kia has realized that just “being there for her” can mean the world.

    When they are together, the pair enjoys a variety of fun activities. “I enjoy being able to spend quality time with Tiffany. We enjoy going shopping at the mall, going bowling, going to the movies, and going out to eat at a restaurant.” Tiffany certainly appreciates all of the kind gestures and as Kia points out, “what I get out of it personally is just seeing a big smile on her face and knowing that she is happy. This lets me know that she understands that I am here for her.”

    There are many other young people like Tiffany who are in need of a positive adult influence in their life, and Kia urges more people to get involved. “There are so many children and teens who needs love, words of encouragement, guidance, support, a listening ear, and just for you to give them your undivided attention. Mentors help to change lives of so many children and teens. You will be considered a leader because they will look up to you.”

    While those who volunteer as mentors do it for the benefit of the child, oftentimes it is the mentor who gets a tremendous reward from the relationship as well.

    Kia adds, “Mentoring is the best thing that I could ever do, and I wouldn’t give up on it for any reason.”
    If you are interested in getting involved with mentoring and helping a young person, the Grizzlies Foundation will help you find opportunities for you to do so.

    Please visit www.teamupmemphis.org to fill out a Mentor Interest Form and start the TEAM UP process.

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    Grizzlies Foundation’s Honoring our Military Families

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 12, 2011

    Since 2006 the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation has recognized nearly 200 local military families at Grizzlies home games.

    The Grizzlies Foundation provides up to 10 tickets, $10 per person in concession vouchers, parking and recognition during the game.

    Read more about the Grizzlies “Honoring our military families” program and see a gallery of photos from the games.

     

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    National Mentoring Month is full of events

    Posted by Eric Bleier on January 12, 2011

    Events to celebrate and thank mentors as well as raise awareness of the need for more mentors

    January is National Mentoring Month and the Grizzlies Foundation and its TEAM UP campaign are joining the National Mentoring Partnership in the celebration of mentors because mentors in Memphis are inspiring youth. Additionally, it is important to build awareness for mentoring through hosting events and encouraging adults to spread the word to friends and colleagues, referring them to this website, and connecting to our facebook page.

  • Monday, January 17th -Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day game Memphis Grizzlies vs. Chicago Bulls, 12pm at FedExForum. Honoring a local mentor from Youth Villages though Grizzlies Mentor Monday.

  • Tuesday, January 25th- NEXUS Leadership Lunch to Celebrate Mentoring featuring Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Elliot Perry, 11:30-1pm. Tickets $25. See www.nexusleaders.org for tickets.

  • Monday, January 31st- Mentoring Night Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic, 7pm at FedExForum. Also honoring a local mentor through Grizzlies Mentor Monday.

  • Monday, February 7th- Mentor Monday, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 7pm at FedExForum. Honoring a local mentor.

  • Exclusive Tour of Stax Museum of American Soul Music for members of TEAMmates. Date TBD in early February.

  • MMP Mentor Enrichment with Terry Ross of the Efficacy Institute on the Positive Power of Language to Motivate Students. Date TBD in mid-February.

  • Recruitment events with East Memphis Kiwanis, the FedEx African American Network, Leadership Memphis, AutoZone and the Northeast Shelby County Rotary Club.

  •  

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    Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring welcomes the Power Team and Freedom Team

    Posted by Joel Katz on December 14, 2010

    Scholars from Power Center Academy with Grizzlies Foundation staff Joel Katz

    Scholars from Power Center Academy with Grizzlies Foundation staff Joel Katz

    In January 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation will launch a pilot TEAM mentoring program with two public charter schools, Power Center Academy and Freedom Preparatory Academy.

    An orientation at each school took place November 9 at their respective sites. The Grizzlies Foundation staff welcomed new mentees and their families to the program with refreshments and an assortment of Grizzlies memorabilia for drawings and prizes.

    “Both teams, the Freedom Team and Power Team, are visibly enthusiastic about having the Grizzlies support behind this program,” observed Eric Bleier, Coordinator of the Grizzlies Foundation. “The schools and their students can only benefit from this partnership and the breadth of resources offered by the Grizzlies.”

    Participating parents made their appreciation and anticipation evident at each Tip-Off event, and many voiced their support of the Grizzlies Foundation’s program at both Freedom Prep and Power Center Academy.

    Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring will allow the Grizzlies Foundation and its partners to reach more youth, engage more volunteers, and foster retention among those volunteers. Freedom Prep and Power Center were selected to participate in the pilot program. Both sites will match teams of three (3) mentors to groups of nine (9) students.
    “I’m feeling very excited. To witness everyone smiling about the program was good to see,” says N’Seeka MacPherson , Freedom Prep’s Systems Coordinator and Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring site coordinator. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the transformation of our students from point A to point B with the help of the Grizzlies Foundation.”

    The first sessions will take place the week of January 17, 2011. Prior to the start date, the Grizzlies Foundation will be hosting mentor training sessions with the volunteers to get them excited and prepared to start the program. For more on Grizzlies TEAM Mentoring or information on how to get involved please see our Team Mentoring information or email us at mentor@grizzlies.com.

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    Leadership Memphis’ Action Heroes program encourages class members to recruit mentors

    Posted by Eric Bleier on December 01, 2010

    The Grizzlies Foundation recently awarded a $12,500 grant to support Leadership Memphis' Action Heroes program

    The Grizzlies Foundation recently awarded a $12,500 grant to support Leadership Memphis' Action Heroes program

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    A new Grizzlies Foundation funded partner, Leadership Memphis supports mentoring

    Leadership Memphis was the recent recipient of a $12,500 grant to help support its Action Heroes program.

    Through the Action Heroes program, class members and alumni “Team Up” with the Grizzlies to recruit colleagues and friends to become mentors in the Foundation’s partner programs throughout Memphis. This year alone, more than 60 Action Heroes have pledged to become mentors for Memphis children.

    Leadership Memphis was recognized with other new Grizzlies Foundation grantees at the November 10, 2010 Grizzlies game. They were represented by David Williams, President and CEO of Leadership Memphis.

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    MENTOR offers thanks

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 24, 2010

    MENTOR gives thanks to mentors

    In this season of giving thanks, everyone at MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership, would like to send their deepest appreciation to the thousands of dedicated mentors, mentoring organizations and mentoring champions across the country.

    Because of you, three million young people are part of a quality mentoring relationship that can help them learn and make positive decisions for their futures.
    “We are grateful for the time that Americans commit to mentoring and for the work that is happening to close the mentoring gap between young people who want and need a mentor and the adults who are ready, willing and able to fill that role,” said MENTOR President and CEO Dr. Larry Wright.

    For information about mentoring and about how to become involved in Memphis, contact the Grizzlies Foundation at mentor@grizzlies.com.

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    Grizzlies Foundation Announces $425,000 to 2010 Grant Recipients

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 12, 2010

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation announced the donation of $425,000 in new grants to 15 Memphis nonprofit organizations Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Theatre Memphis during their annual Grizzlies Foundation Partners Breakfast. The $425,000 marks the largest dispersal of new grants to Memphis nonprofits since the Grizzlies Foundation’s inception in 2004.

    This year’s distribution of grants brings the total giving by the Grizzlies Foundation to Memphis non-profit organizations to $26.1 million.
    After enjoying a delicious breakfast in the main entry area the grant recipients and other attendees moved inside the theater for the distribution of grants. Grizzlies television play-by-play announcer Pete Pranica did his standard splendid job as the master of ceremonies, and he was joined on stage by Grizzlies Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Chris Wallace and Charles Ewing, owner of Ewing Moving Service and a major supporter of the Grizzlies Foundation.

    The Grizzlies Foundation’s mission to serve Memphis youth through education and mentoring saw them welcome three new partners to their group of yearly grant recipients. This year the New Ballet Ensemble & School, Memphis Prep Program and Leadership Memphis joined a list of nonprofit organizations that have received grants in previous years including: ArtsMemphis, the Church Health Center, Exchange Club Family Center, the Leadership Academy, Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Memphis Leadership Foundation, the Mid-South Food Bank, MIFA, STREETS Ministries, The Works, Inc., United Way of the Mid-South, and Girls Incorporated of Memphis.

    Prior to the distribution of grants, there was a photo montage that recognized the work that the Grizzlies Foundation and its partners have accomplished since 2001. During the program the Grizzlies Foundation also honored longtime community partners Soulsville, Urban Youth Initiative, Youth Villages, Memphis Athletic Ministries, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and BRIDGES Inc.

    For photos from the event, click here.

    The Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and raises awareness of the need for mentors throughout the community.  To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring initiative e-mail mentor@grizzlies.com, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit www.TeamUpMemphis.org.

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    Meet our Group Mentoring Pilot Schools!

    Posted by JD Graffam on November 11, 2010

    In January 2011, the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation will implement a group or “team” mentoring program in two public charter school sites, Freedom Preparatory Academy in North Memphis and Power Center Academy in the Hickory Hill area. Grizzlies “TEAM” Mentoring will enable the Foundation and our partners to reach more youth, engage more volunteers, and foster retention among volunteers. We hope to offer this model for replication to other MMP member groups, so stay tuned and follow our progress. Meanwhile, meet our new MMP members:

    Freedom Team Mentoring Program

    Freedom Preparatory Academy prepares students in grades 6 through 12 to excel in college and in life through dedication to the mission of college preparation through a highly structured, academically rigorous environment where students master the core subjects, develop advanced academic skills and demonstrate the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Excellence, and Community.

    The Freedom Team Mentoring Program will serve students in Grades 6 and 7 by conducting activities that address a variety of topics but emphasize leadership development, health and wellness, and college preparation. Participants of the program will also enjoy field lessons to places such as museums and basketball games. 
    Team mentoring matches three mentors with groups of nine students. The three mentors work as a team to mentor all nine students. Mentor team members work collectively to facilitate weekly activities, discussions and field lessons.  Teams will meet on Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30pm. The initial volunteer commitment will be for 18 months and continue on an academic year calendar after the first year.

    For more information on the Freedom Team Mentoring Program, contact N’seeka MacPherson at 901-259-5959 or nmacpherson@freedomprep.org.

    Power Center Academy Charter School Team Up

    Power Center Academy in the heart of the Hickory Hill community serves grades 6 through 8. PCA students come from diverse areas of the city.  The academy provides an extended day experience for the students, beginning at 7:15am and ending at 4:45pm.  The school is dedicated to changing the lives of students, ultimately making an impact on the Hickory Hill Community.

    The mission of Power Center Academy is to develop future leaders of the community by teaching scholars to be innovative thinkers, problem solvers, and humanitarians.Integrated into the mission are the Five PCA Pillars which guide scholars’ daily behavior and attitude:
    1. Respect yourself, your peers, and your community
    2. Be proud of your work, your school, and your life.
    3. Take ownership of your thoughts, choices, and actions.
    4. Seek to innovate, create, and dream big.
    5. Be prepared for success.

    PCA provides a college preparatory curriculum anchored in five core components: (1) Rigorous Curriculum - Scholars are engaged in a technology-rich, standards based curriculum.  The curriculum is based on a constructivist framework. (2) Entrepreneurship - Scholars are provided curriculum resources, teaching strategies and productivity tools to research and define their own entrepreneur efforts. (3) Financial Literacy - Our scholars are offered the opportunity to learn financial literacy through real-world experiences.  Through a partnership with Sun Trust Bank, our scholars will run their own Youth Bank. (4) Technology - Scholars are afforded the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology.  Through a partnership with Apple, Inc., one MacBook is provided for each child enrolled at the academy. (5) Community Service - Power Center Academy wants students to invest in their communities; that is why service is a vital part of Power Center Academy’s mission.  Students at the academy have many opportunities to give back to through service learning projects.

    The mentoring program will serve male students in the 7th and 8th grade. Group mentoring teams include three mentors with groups of nine students. Groups meet one hour per week, either 2:30 to 3:30pm or 4:30 to 5:30pm on Thursdays. Periodic group outings are also scheduled during the school year. Commitment is for 18 months beginning in January of 2011. For more information about the Power Center Academy Program, contact Anne Frisby, School Counselor, at 901-333-6874 or frisbya@powercenteracademy.org.

    The process to become involved at either site is the same: Volunteer mentors must submit an application and agree to a background and fingerprint check and personal interview. Mentors will attend a 3- hour training/ orientation and have opportunities for follow-up enrichment.

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    TEAMmates: Community of Mentors in Memphis

    Posted by Eric Bleier on November 05, 2010

    Become a TEAMmate!

    Become a TEAMmate!

    Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty Images

    TEAMmates: A new program to recognize and reward mentors!

    What is the TEAMmates Initiative?
    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is committed to supporting individuals who serve as mentors to young people with our partner programs. These individuals devote their time and energy to the well-being and social, emotional and intellectual growth of the young people they mentor. Research shows that youth who participate in long-term relationships with mentors yield the most significant outcomes.

    TEAMmates is an effort to stay connected to those individuals who sign up to mentor through the Grizzlies with one of our non-profit partners. We will communicate with mentors, host special educational and social events for mentors and provide recognition to mentors to ensure they feel their time mentoring is well used and appreciated and feel a connection with mentors in Memphis.

    Who can participate as a TEAMmate?
    Any person who becomes a mentor with a Foundation partner program may participate. Just complete the form below or contact the Grizzlies Foundation at mentor@grizzlies.com or 901-205-8326 if you have questions.

    What is included for TEAMmates?
    There are monthly social events for mentors that include, but are not limited to: happy hours at area restaurants; tickets to Grizzlies “Mentoring Nights;” opportunities to win premium seats at Grizzlies “Mentor Mondays” home games; and invitations to hear special guest speakers like Grizzlies coaches, players, ownership and other high profile speakers.

    In addition to social events, TEAMmates receive invitations to monthly Memphis Mentoring Partnership training and educational sessions taught by experts to help mentors learn how to build better relationships with mentees.

    There are invitations to TEAMmates to tell others of their experiences as mentors at Grizzlies Foundation speaking events or via Grizzlies Foundation website.

    Is there a deadline to enroll in TEAMmates?
    There is no deadline. Mentors who are first referred by the Grizzlies Foundation to mentoring program partners are invited to enroll. Any mentor with a Grizzlies Foundation partner may enroll anytime.

    Why join TEAMmates?
    Why not? TEAM UP with the Grizzlies is about being part of a team, a movement that helps kids in Memphis and offers mentors a chance to network with each other. There is no cost to join and we provide many unique opportunities and ongoing support to make the mentoring experience even more fun and rewarding.

    How to join
    If you are currently mentoring with a Grizzlies Foundation program partner, complete the form below. Questions? Contact us at mentor@grizzlies.com or call 901-205-8326.

    If you are interested in learning about opportunities for mentoring and joining TEAMmates complete the brief mentor interest form and we will contact you.

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    Grizzlies Foundation and MENTOR design group mentoring model

    Posted by Jenny Koltnow on September 23, 2010

    Group mentoring allows you to touch more lives while working with other adult mentors

    Group mentoring allows you to touch more lives while working with other adult mentors

    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is preparing to launch “team” mentoring in January 2011. This pilot program will begin in two local public charter schools located in the Hickory Hill and Westwood neighborhoods. By collaborating with MENTOR/ The National Mentoring Partnership, the Grizzlies Foundation is creating a format to be implemented in schools and after-school programs in Memphis and throughout the U.S. in subsequent years.

    Because of the critical need for youth mentors in Memphis, the expansion of group mentoring will allow organizations to serve many more children.

    The pilot programs will feature teams of three adult mentors working with groups of nine students. Weekly activities will be designed to address career exploration and entrepreneurship, health and wellness, team-building and leadership, cultural understanding and other areas supporting the schools’ values. In addition, periodic group outings to local educational and cultural events will compliment the groups’ activities.

    The Philadelphia-based organization Private-Public Ventures noted in a 2006 report, “Group mentoring programs have been shown to attract volunteer mentor applicants who might otherwise, be uncomfortable with the level of intimacy and commitment needed for one-to-one matches.”

    School-based mentoring has been an effective model for many years, the first test sites will be these local public charter schools serving low-income children.

    Contact us to learn more about joining this groundbreaking effort or fill out a mentor interest form and we will contact you.

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    Adrienne Dailey-Evans, Board of Directors Member, Exchange Club Family Center

    Posted by Eric Bleier on September 07, 2010

    I chose to serve on the Exchange Club Family Center’s Board of Directors because as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the agency, I obtained firsthand working-knowledge of the services provided and the needs of the community.  The mission of the agency is not just written in words but in the hearts of every staff member who encounters a client through the agency’s many services addressing the needs of youth and their families. 

    Some agencies’ services are focused on adults, which then funnel through to the child.  However, the services at the Exchange Club Family Center are focused on addressing not only the adult issues in the family, but also targeting the needs of the child. 

    I am inspired by the “results,” which are demonstrated by the willingness of clients to complete the various programs.  In addition, the agency is equipped with the professional expertise to identify and address the varied needs of the family ranging from food stamp assistance to individual counseling. 

    The value of helping families can be measured through services such as the mentor program at the Exchange Club Center, which is, on a one-on-one basis, proactively addressing the needs of youth.  It is imperative that youth have mentors/role models to provide a broader range of cultural, social, and educational exposure that may not be provided within their families. 

    Even I had people who were not family members that contributed to the person that I am today.  I was able to embrace a quality of life and life skills, which would not have been available without the mentors in my life.  Mentors/role models can expose youth to skills and experiences that may not be available in their homes, provide guidance in educational decisions, and/or simply expose the youth to events and activities in the community.

    With the support of the Memphis Grizzlies, the agency has been able to recruit and match numerous kind and caring mentors with youth who have been exposed to the trauma of abuse and neglect.

    Although we did not call them mentors during my youth, I had teachers who encouraged my educational abilities and built the confidence in me that has sustained me throughout my educational and professional career.  In addition, I had members in the church community that provided me with spiritual guidance and neighbors that assisted in overseeing my care and well-being. 

    That was just our community during my youth.  However, the communities today lack the make-up of communities that we had in the 50s and 60s. Therefore, a definite need exists for mentors/role models to encourage our youth today.

    Because of technology advancement, our youth are more exposed to life matters without the proper guidance to handle the information. Youth today need this guidance and support, and mentors and/or role models are a great deterrent to gangs or other groups that prey on our youth.

    To learn more about the Exchange Club Family Center, visit their website: http://www.exchangeclub.net/

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    Expect More, Achieve More: Standards in Education Raised and how mentors can help

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 25, 2010

    How mentors can help their mentees during the TCAP transition to higher standards

    The First to the Top Coalition, a statewide alliance of more than 30 business, community and education organizations which support education reform in Tennessee, launched the “Expect More, Achieve More” project to build public awareness of higher educational standards that will affect TCAP assessment test scores this Fall.

    These changes are based on a national agreement of Governors and Chief State School Officers about the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

    The goal was to bring the participating states into greater uniformity with regard to the educational standards students are tested upon. In Tennessee, it is anticipated that these new standards, which were included in the TCAP test for the Spring of 2010, are likely to show lower student proficiency.

    The support that mentors can provide their mentees certainly includes help with homework and tutoring. But to be a mentor goes beyond being a tutor.

    The Search Institute lists the 40 Developmental Assets with which a young person can grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

    A mentor provides many of these Assets, including the following:

    Other Adult Relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
    Community Values Youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
    Adult Role Models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.

    As well as modeling and teaching values such as:

    Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
    Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
    Interpersonal Competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
    Positive View of Personal Future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

    See the Search Institute’s complete list of the 40 Developmental Assets and learn about the more intangible skills mentors can impart.

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    Memphis Athletic Ministries on YouTube

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 09, 2010

    Youth at Memphis Athletic Ministries describe how their mentors positively affect their lives. See them on YouTube.

    If you are interested in learning more about MAM or any of the Grizzlies Foundation’s other mentoring partners fill out an interest form or contact us at (901) 205-8326 or mentor@grizzlies.com

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    Child Advocacy Center educates MMP groups about child abuse

    Posted by Eric Bleier on August 04, 2010

    The latest quarterly Memphis Mentoring Partnership networking breakfast featured Keita Cooley from the Memphis Child Advocacy Center who gave a presentation to educate and inform MMP partners about child abuse/neglect.

    The presentation was for those who already work for programs that help youth in order to help them understand the signs of abuse and also their role in reporting it.

    The group learned statistics about child abuse and the definitions for the different types of abuse: sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic abuse, emotional/psychological abuse and neglect.

    The Child Advocacy Center can provide educational speakers to any group who would like to learn more so they have the knowledge and resources to help if they suspect a child has been abused.

    Tennessee law mandates that ANY adult who has “reasonable cause to believe” a child is being abused report it to the Department of Child Services or to law enforcement. Failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor crime, jail time and fine.

    That said, the question isn’t who wouldn’t report it if they suspected it going on. The questions that were asked had to do with how reporting suspected abuse to authorities would affect the relationship between the child and the person reporting.

    Ultimately, reporting suspected abuse is necessary to protect the child, and the take-away lesson was that if you suspect abuse, chances are that you are right.

    For more information on inviting a speaker or for resources about child abuse visit the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

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    Hiring for Memphis PREP Program Mentor Coordinator Position

    Posted by Eric Bleier on July 23, 2010

    Overview: Memphis Prep Program
    Memphis PREP Program (MPP) gives promising Memphis City Schools students a means to meet their potential.  Since 1969, MPP has been extending access to high-quality summer academic enrichment programs to rising juniors and seniors, helping bridge the opportunity gap for MCS students. 

    Memphis PREP Program has grown from serving one high school in 1969 to serving 115 students from 27 Memphis City high schools attending 35 summer programs in the summer of 2010.  After students return from their summer programs, MPP provides ACT and professional skills workshops, and a College Counselor to help students and parents through the college admission and financial aid process.

    In 2007, the program became an independent 501(c)(3) organization.  For forty years , MPP has found that participation in these summer programs has a direct affect on future goals, ambition, opportunities, and college matriculation of Memphis’ most promising students.

    Mentor Program Coordinator Position description:
    The MPP Mentoring Program Coordinator is responsible for developing and managing the mentoring program and volunteer mentors for the Memphis PREP Program. The Coordinator will provide training and ongoing support to volunteer mentors, as well as appropriate matching with students. 

    The Coordinator will also be responsible for mentor recruitment, communication with mentors, youth and families and fulfill other duties as needed within the Memphis PREP Program. 

    This position reports to the Executive Director.  Please note: This is a part-time position, with work hours afternoons, evenings, and weekends.

    Primary Job Responsibilities:

    •Develop a volunteer mentoring program based on the “Elements of Effective Practice,” MENTOR’s national standards for responsible and sustainable youth mentoring.
    •Develop job description for mentors, including meeting frequency and role expectations
    •Develop pre-match training program for mentors in conjunction with College Counselor including
    oInformation about the Memphis PREP Program, its missions and its work
    oOrientation on mentoring based on “Elements of Effective Practice”
    oTraining on college counseling basics and the role the mentor will play with the student
    •Work with other MPP staff to match mentors with students
    •Design and conduct orientation for students to discuss student responsibilities and expectations of mentor program. Develop and sign contracts.
    •Design orientation for parents of mentored students, and develop and sign parent contract.
    •Facilitate and participate in initial meeting of mentor and assigned student
    •Maintain frequent communication with every mentor. Minimum contact is once each week.
    •Meet regularly with College Counselor to coordinate and consult on mentoring activities.  Participate with College Counselor in monthly conference call to all mentors.
    •Provide ongoing support and facilitate enrichment/ training opportunities for mentors.
    •Plan quarterly events for mentors and students, including social, career development and academic activities
    •Provide regular reports to Executive Director on mentoring program and to Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation as requested.
    •Represent MPP in Memphis Mentoring Partnership related programs
    •Fulfill other duties as assigned.

    Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

    •Enthusiasm for working with young people
    •Ability to work with many different individuals in a variety of settings
    •Excellent organizational skills and detail-oriented performance
    •Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
    •Ability to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner
    •Strong communication skills, including writing and public speaking
    •Available afternoons, nights, and weekends
    •Flexibility and willingness to perform other tasks as needed.


    Education and Experience:

    •College degree
    •Familiarity with higher education and the college application process
    •Skills in database management.  Learn to use MentorPRO management and assessment program or an equivalent to track mentors’ time and activities.

    Physical Demands:

    •In addition to working in a normal office environment, the mentor coordinator will be expected to travel to various meeting sites.  A driver’s license and reliable transportation is required.
    •Position may require occasional lifting of objects 10-25 pounds.
    •In compliance with applicable law, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.

    Salary based on experience and job qualifications.
    To Apply:
    Please send a resume, thoughtful cover letter and references, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of this position.

    Susan Edelman, Executive Director
    Memphis PREP Program
    P.O. Box 770600
    Memphis, TN 38177-0600
    901.278.0808
    Email: susan@memphisprepprogram.org
    www.memphisprepprogram.org

     

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    The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is committed to serving Memphis youth through education and mentoring.