Academies serve kids in several ways. In the fall of 2012, the Foundation began it’s first year-long program at Irvington School in NE Portland. This Academy features teachers, mentors, tutors and coaches working with 30 students four days per week. The two hour sessions are divided up between school curriculum, homework time, developing better classroom skills and sports training in the gym.
Another version of the Academy is a 9 week after-school program that meets twice a week at select Portland area middle schools. Each session begins with classroom time for instruction in core values and is followed by sports training, skills building, and games. During two-hour academy, coaches, teachers, and community volunteers use classroom time and sports as an interactive experience through which skill building and mastery of technique are practiced.
Coaches and guest speakers have included: David Lucas, Frank Brickowski, Jerome Kersey, Chief David Bishop, Nate McMillan, Kaleb Canales, Craig Robinson, Karen Gaffney, Ndamukong Suh, NyEma Sims, Wayne Tinkle, Ken Boddie, Howard White and many more.
The Maurice Lucas Foundation provides several one-day educational trips to sites such as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Oregon State University, Portland State University or Portland Community College. On these trips, kids get insight in what their future may hold, like meeting college athletic coaches and professors, Portland Trail Blazer team members and other positive role models.
Sport is an excellent way to practice values and see them in action — leadership, commitment, respect, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and work ethic, among others. The Maurice Lucas Foundation teaches these values in the classroom first before we take them to the court. We teach a core curriculum that features experienced coaches and inspirational guest speakers. We discuss how we can apply these values throughout our life experiences and in our own communities.
Research gathered by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has proven that sports-based activities foster self-esteem, motivation, leadership, and character development.
The following are some of the values that are discussed during Maurice Lucas Foundation Academies:
To achieve great things, you first have to know where you want to go. Goal setting includes determining how and when you want to get there. What do you need to do to reach your goal?
Your choices are your own. Your character speaks to who you are. How do you define yourself? Are you someone people can trust and rely on? How do you become a person of integrity? It’s what you do when nobody’s looking…
Leadership is an honor and a responsibility. A leader is someone that others trust and look to for guidance. Leaders tend to be few—most people find it easer to follow. Are you a role model for others?
Respect starts with you. You’ve probably been told: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Remember that respect is earned. We must be respectful to others to be respected ourselves.
If you work hard, put in the effort, and stick to your goals despite obstacles, you can achieve them. Having a strong work ethic—believing in the value that comes from honest, hard work—builds strong character.
It’s very important to keep a positive circle of friends. There are many negative influences in the world, and all it takes is one wrong decision to negatively impact your life.
Having a positive attitude towards your education, your family, and your personal growth helps generate a successful future.
“Youth involved in sports are less likely to take drugs, smoke, or dropout of school. Women are also less likely to become pregnant. In fact, those who are involved in sports have higher academic achievement.”