Paul Savramis, founder of Rising Stars Youth Foundation, recently hosted the non-profit’s 2018 Meet and Greet for Rising Stars student athletes at Adelphi University. Savramis explained what this annual event entails and how Rising Stars scholarships have a lasting impact on the students, their families, and the community.
Q: What is the purpose of the Meet and Greet event?
Paul Savramis: The Meet and Greet is a yearly event that introduces the Rising Stars Scholarship recipients to the members of the board. It is a chance for these students and their families to meet the men and women behind the scenes of Rising Stars and for our benefactors to meet firsthand the lives they have touched through their generosity.
Q: Why are scholarships so important?
Paul Savramis: Many of our student athletes come from families that might not have the financial means to provide a quality education for their children. Many of these kids are from single-parent homes and have had their lives touched by adversity that can include drugs and gang violence. These scholarships offer our most highly motivated student athletes the opportunity to rise up ,change their environment and make a change for their generation and for the next.
Q: How are recipients chosen?
Paul Savramis: This is the most difficult part of the process..
We go through hundreds of applications each year but can only select a handful of students. Our criteria includes the student’s commitment to their community, his or her commitment to academics, and their family’s overall financial situation.
Q: How do these academic opportunities make a difference in the lives of the scholarship recipients?
Paul Savramis: While they provide funding for the student to attend a private learning institute, often our students and their families say that just the act of being chosen, being believed in, was a push in the right direction toward having the self-esteem to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. Many of our student scholars are capable of great achievements both on the court and in the classroom, we just help them by giving them the best platform to display their talents and abilities.