Bruce came to the Y to personally distribute the 50 Nike backpacks that he donated to the MAP youth who participated in an essay contest to discuss when they were at their personal best.
EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 15, 2013 – The gym at the Mill Creek Family YMCA filled with cheers on Nov. 12 as Seattle Seahawk Bruce Irvin entered. Nearly 50 youth from the Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, and Mukilteo YMCA Minority Achievers Program (MAP), as well as many parents and Y staff gave him a warm welcome.
Bruce came to the Y to personally distribute the 50 Nike backpacks that he donated to the MAP youth who participated in an essay contest to discuss when they were at their personal best. Coastal Community Bank and the Power of Mind Foundation each donated $1,000 to fill the backpacks with school supplies.
Everyone who entered the contest received a backpack; however two essay winners were selected by a panel of judges from the YMCA, Coastal Community Bank, and the Power of Mind Foundation. The two winners, both from College Place Middle School were Pedro Rodriguez and Alex Torchillo. Pedro shared about an experience at Pioneer Square when we was handing out food and clothing to the homeless. Alex wrote about a situation in which he stood up for a friend who was being bullied.
Craig Chambers, Teen Director at the Marysville YMCA was the MC for the evening and told the kids that to be a leader all they need is a dream and a goal. He urged them to write their goals on a mirror at home so they see them every day. When one goal is competed, check it off and write another. Then, at the end of the year, they will see all the goals they completed.
Irvin, who grew up in Georgia, shared his personal story about dropping out of school in 9th grade and hanging around with the wrong crowd. This resulted in some bad choices. He finally realized that if we wanted to do anything with his life that he would need to get an education. He got his GED and went to junior college in California. He then transferred to West Virginia, and as everyone knows, was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. The moral of his story was, “Stay in school. Education is what’s most important.”
“Our involvement with this event was based on our recognition of the power a professional athlete can have in the lives of youth today,” said Juli Lindell, Co-Founder, Power of Mind Foundation. “Bruce Irvin's story is unique to this cause and shows what can be overcome by hard work, determination, and education. Our relationship with Coastal Community Bank and their commitment to community involvement through organizations like The YMCA brought this event to fruition.”
“The MAP's program and its dedication to guiding youth to higher learning was a perfect fit and we hope this is a partnership for years to come.”
“One of Coastal’s tag lines is that ‘Community’ is our middle name. That means that we not only volunteer, sponsor, and provide banking services for the non-profits in our neighborhoods, but we also create and foster synergies between our community partners,” said Laura Byers, EVP / Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy, Coastal Community Bank. “When the Power of Mind Foundation let us know that Bruce Irvin wanted to donate backpacks to students, we naturally thought of the Y and all its great programs. Bruce’s message about staying in school and making the right choices fit perfectly with the life skills being delivered through the MAP program.”
Bruce patiently posed for photos with all of the students and also signed many autographs. “Our hope is that Bruce’s message will ring loudly within them as they grow and progress into adulthood,” said Tami Farber, Director of Community Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion and Education, YMCA of Snohomish County.
About Power of Mind Foundation
The Power of Mind Foundation, founded in 2012, is a 501 (c) 3 children’s charity that supports youth activities for communities in need. The Power of Mind works in partnership with professional athletes, businesses and other generous individuals to raise and distribute resources in order to enrich opportunities for deserving youth. We believe that every child deserves to have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams.
About Coastal Community Bank Employee Giving Fund
Employees joined together in 2002 to establish the Coastal Community Bank Employee Giving Fund supporting charitable causes in the communities we serve and live in. Supported entirely by donations contributed by employees, the Fund enables them to pool their donations for the greatest impact. Employees have a direct say in the grants made from the fund by serving on a grant advisory committee each grant cycle.
About YMCA of Snohomish County
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The YMCA of Snohomish County has been serving and strengthening our communities since 1901 and has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. The Y offers programs, services, and initiatives to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors. For more information please visit us online at ymca-snoco.org.