Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Derek Jeter: A heart for kids at risk

Kids like these get help from Turn 2.
I previously profiled Albert Pujols as among Major League Baseball's top charitable organizers.

Now it's time to look at a man who proudly wears the New York Yankee pinstripes on the field and the mantle of community leader outside the foul lines — Derek Jeter.

You can learn more about Turn 2 through its official site via Derek's MLB page. (Gentle chide to Mr. Jeter — especially for your post-baseball life, it would be great for you to set up a separate website, and even a Facebook page, for Turn 2. Take a look at what Albert did).

That said, this is a dream Derek has had for some time:
"If I make it to the Major Leagues," he told his father, "I want to set up a foundation that will have a positive impact on kids. I want to help nurture dreams. I want to show kids there's another way to go." 
And, it's been a smash hit for "Mr. November," who hasn't had a problem being a winner off the field.

The foundation's focus is to help keep teens away from drugs and alcohol, or get them off if they've started down that road. Here's more:
Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to create and support programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol, and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Derek chose to concentrate his efforts in West Michigan where he grew up, New York City, where he works, and Hillsborough County, Fla., where he lives. Derek's goal is to guide kids in the right direction and help them become the leaders of tomorrow. Through the Turn 2 Foundation, he can take his passion for youth and his desire to give back to the community and mobilize it into a very positive force. The Foundation uses this force to support programs that promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement and leadership development among youth.

In addition to contributing his own funds, Derek hosts his annual Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic in Tampa, Fla., and the Turn 2 Foundation Dinner in New York City to raise capital needed to successfully continue his many signature programs including Jeter’s Leaders, Turn 2 Us Healthy Lifestyles, Turn 2 After School, Turn 2 Baseball Clinics, Proud To Be Me, Turn 2 Smart Moves, Holiday Express and the Turn 2 Endowed Scholarships. Recently, the Turn 2 Foundation donated $500,000 to launch the Derek Jeter Academy at Phoenix House in Tampa, an outpatient counseling center for troubled teens combining individual and family substance abuse treatment. 
Phoenix House is itself a "name" in the recovery field, so you know this is a case of one All-Star teaming up with another.

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