Kenyan Scholars Get a Motivational Boost from the NBA All-Star
NBA All-Star Jaylen Brown with EFAC Scholars
Education For All Children (EFAC) recently hosted NBA All-Star and 7uice Foundation leader Jaylen Brown for a motivational Q&A with the program’s high school students.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H., September 21, 2023 (Newswire.com)
Education For All Children (EFAC) recently welcomed Boston Celtics player and founder of The 7uice Foundation Jaylen Brown at one of their annual workshops. An exceptional athlete and social justice advocate, Brown set a goal to expand his footprint as a global citizen in 2023. The synergy between the two organizations led to this initial engagement with EFAC Scholars in Kenya.
In late August, over 200 students from EFAC’s high school program gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the annual Bridge-to-Success Workshop. This week-long residential workshop brings together students from all over Kenya to collaborate with EFAC staff and volunteers, ensuring their success in the coming school year. EFAC’s program focuses on mental health and wellness, building leadership and communication skills, and honing practical skills, such as digital and financial literacy. With The 7uice Foundation’s Bridge Program emphasis on social-emotional wellness, leadership development, and resilience coaching, Brown opened the workshop with a live, interactive Zoom call with the students to set the stage for the week.
Students prepared questions for Brown ahead of time, and a lucky few got to speak with him directly. Quinanne, a 10th-grade student who aspires to become an inventor to solve food scarcity in desert regions, approached the microphone appropriately dressed in her tracksuit to ask, “What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned in life?” Brown’s resounding message to the EFAC Scholars was, “There are a lot of lessons that life will teach you. But there’s one lesson that I’ve learned and I think it applies to sports, it applies to music, it applies to school, it applies to everyday life. And that is to have confidence. Never let somebody break your spirit, never give somebody the power to break your spirit.”
“That a renowned athlete and advocate would take the time to speak with our scholars and provide such generous advice and encouragement means the world to them. The warmth and energy was palpable throughout the interaction. These young people come from backgrounds where their future is not guaranteed, their education often ends before 8th grade, and they are often not convinced that they are valued even after they’ve achieved more than they could have imagined. Events like this reinforce the truth that they matter and give them confidence to fulfill their dreams and make a difference,” commented EFAC Country Director, Mary Kiguru.
As the leading education-to-employment program in Kenya, EFAC continues to grow in size, scope, and depth of impact. Matt Gianino, U.S. Executive Director of EFAC notes, “There is an African proverb that illustrates a core tenet of how EFAC optimizes its impact. It is, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.’ Collaborations with like-minded organizations like The 7uice Foundation and education and empowerment champions like Jaylen Brown are critical to the long-term success of the young people we serve. By sharing his perspectives as an educator and activist as well as life-changing lessons he has learned along his journey, Mr. Brown has helped raise the gaze of future change-makers in Kenya.”
About Education For All Children (EFAC):
EFAC is an 8-year education-to-employment program serving Kenyan youth who demonstrate strong academic ability and leadership potential and who would otherwise be unable to continue their education beyond 8th grade for socioeconomic reasons. EFAC supports students in their academic, social and pre-professional development throughout high school, college and into their careers. EFAC was co-founded in 2008 by philanthropists Rod and Nancy Van Sciver of Rye, NH and African education leader Prof. Leah Marangu of Kenya, who became the country’s first female professor at Kenyatta University in 1978 and then its first female university Vice Chancellor at Africa Nazarene University in 1996. EFAC currently operates offices in Portsmouth, NH and Nairobi, Kenya, with active programming across Kenya. The program’s ultimate goal is to develop tomorrow’s professionals and leaders, creating paths out of poverty that transform their own lives and positively impact their families, communities, and country. www.efac.org
About Jaylen Brown:
In July 2023, Brown signed a five-year, supermax contract extension with the Boston Celtics. The deal is the most valuable deal in NBA history. A first-round top three draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Brown joined the Boston Celtics at just 19 years old. He has since achieved two-time All-Star player status, is Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association (making him the youngest member of the executive committee in 2019 and reelected for 2023). As Vice President of the NBPA, Brown aided in the creation of THINK450, which helps NBA players gain control of their name and likeness. A community builder on and off the court, Brown hosts a Rookie event, during NBA summer league, in efforts to build connection amongst players. Brown’s decisively clear devotion to social justice, especially changing the inequity in the education system, has led him to regularly be considered one of the most enlightened and intelligent athletes in the league.
About The 7uice Foundation:
Founded by Jaylen Brown, The 7uice Foundation collaborates with institutions, organizations, and social change leaders to bridge the opportunity gap for traditionally underserved Black and Brown communities. In the United States, The 7uice Foundation’s signature initiative is the ‘Bridge Program’, a multi-day workshop focused on leadership, emotional literacy, and education for Black and Brown youth. This year the program hosted students from Boston public schools and worked in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab on a STEAM based program. Outside partners inclusive of NASA, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and many individual leaders also participated to inspire these bright scholars. www.the7uicefoundation.org
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