Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Slam Dunk Illiteracy Campaign!

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a powerful series of literacy and self-development seminars featuring former NBAer and Toronto Raptor, John Wallace that were designed to make a difference to Toronto/GTA youth!

The campaign ran from October 3-5, 2011 and reached more than 1,000 youth in that time period.

Wallace was drafted 18th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He went on to play eight seasons in the NBA and and two in Europe. In 1998 he was the runner up of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award while with the Toronto Raptors. John was also voted Community Service Man of the Year for his dedication to youth in the city of Toronto.

I've known John for quite some time and he's always had a deep appreciation for the city of Toronto from his playing days and has always wanted to give back to the city in some capacity.

Wallace is the co-founder of a youth mentoring company called, Winning Because I Tried and is joined by his partner, Modie Cox to deliver inspiring talks to young audiences.

Important messages that are taught include:

  • The power of hard work and perseverance
  • The value of education and literacy
  • Learning to develop confidence in your abilities despite obstacles

John and Modie have a true passion to help today's youth reach their full potential. They bot
h came from challenging backgrounds and are committed to sharing their experiences in order to guide audiences on the right path.

The SLAM DUNK ILLITERACY campaign has been receiving rave reviews from Toronto schools and youth organizations:

“Thanks a lot for today. The event was amazing. What you guys were able to do was amazing.”

Lennox Cadore, Arts Program Manager - Urban Arts Toronto

The campaign also featured a book that I co-authored called, "Basketball Talk, The Way It Should Be!" It's an entertaining baller and celebrity quote book that makes reading fun and some of the proceeds are being donated to some of their charities, Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton and the ErinoakKids Foundation.

Overall, with poor literacy rates, bullying and lack of motivation rampant among today's youth, John and Modie's presentation aims to connect with young people most as risk and make them accountable and inspired to break through their challenges.

If you're interested in having The SLAM DUNK ILLITERACY campaign come to your school or organization, please feel free to contact:

See you on the court!

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