NBA Superstar Donates $1M to Chicago-Based After-School Program
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player, donated $1 million to a Chicago-based after-school program called After School Matters, the organization announced Tuesday evening.
The Chicago native—he was born and raised in the Englewood neighborhood on the city's South Side—found out about the program through the Bulls' community relations department, according to a statement from the team. It's his largest-ever charitable donation, per the Chicago Tribune's Melissa Harris.
"He reached out," said E. Robbie Robinson, the vice chairman of After School Matters, via the Tribune. "There was a conversation around what would be the best way to build a relationship. He and his family concluded this is what they wanted to do and to make a big statement."
The After School Matters program provides out-of-school activities through "a network of public and private partnerships," according to the organization's website. Per the Tribune, the organization works with more than 15,000 youths throughout the Chicago area annually.
"To have a strong community of people who believe in your potential can make all the difference in the world," said Rose in a statement. "So many people have invested in me and I want to do the same for Chicago's teens."
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and team president Michael Reinsdorf offered praise of the point guard's donation:
On D Rose donation "I couldn't be more proud of his decision to support After School Matters in such an impactful way." -Jerry Reinsdorf-- Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 24, 2014
"When you talk to Derrick about his son it's apparent that helping children resonates with him in a new way as a father." -Michael Reinsdorf-- Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 24, 2014
This isn't Rose's first foray into helping disadvantaged Chicago teenagers. Rose joined his Bulls teammate Joakim Noah in creating anti-violence public service announcements this summer. He also participated in Noah's first-ever ONE CITY Basketball Tournament, which brought together youths from the South Side and West Side. (Rose coached the South Side squad, while Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley—another Chicago native—guided the West Side team.)
"My message to our kids is simple—you matter, you deserve every opportunity in life, and you can and should dream big because dreams can come true," Rose said in the statement issued by the team.
Thanks to his generosity, a number of underprivileged youths in Chicago will stand to benefit in the coming months and years.
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