In the world of sports, it’s not uncommon for a player to get frustrated with their coaches. According to Paul Savramis, young athletes often get put “on the bench” when they fail to live up to their athletic standards or just to allow for healthy team rotation. This is disappointing, to be sure, but it’s also gotten dangerous for the coaches.
Paul Savramis explains that violence against coaches has picked up speed over the last 10 years or so. He points to a recent incident involving Long Island basketball coach Theo Czubakowski. The coach in question pulled a young player out of the game, which offended the mother and a male family member. After refusing to put him back in, the coach was then approached by the family, and violence ensued.
Czubakowski Was punched in the face, thrown to the ground, and then chased to his vehicle, where Paul Savramis says that a player had to intervene so the coach could drive himself to the hospital.
Paul Savramis laments that, unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common. Rising Stars Youth Foundation has policies in place to combat parent-on-coach violence. One of these, he explains, is a zero-tolerance rule. All student-athletes and their families are required to attend a lecture on the topic. Further, they must agree to exhibit positive sportsmanship, even when things don’t go quite the way they’d like.
Paul Savramis also points out that Rising Stars’ students and their families have more motivation than simply scoring points to be on their best behavior during games. He explains that many are enrolled in academic and community programs that they would like to continue to participate in.
To parents getting angry on the court, Paul Savramis has this advice: take a breath, and remember that it is only a game. Anytime one player sits out is an opportunity for another to shine. All players get their time in the spotlight, and it should never be because their parents resorted to violence to make it happen.
Paul Savramis, founder of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation, is pleased to announce that his friend, Ebony Young, is running for NYC District 26 Council member.
Ebony has lived in the Woodside Queens area for the last decade and has raised her daughters here. She has proudly served her community as a nonprofit leader and social responsibility executive throughout Long Island. According to Paul Savramis, Ebony Young has a long-running relationship with Rising Stars.
Paul Savramis says that Ebony Young was who he reached out to in the early days of his organization’s structure. Together, Savramis and Young forged a partnership with the Long Island city YMCA, where Ebony served as director. Her vision led to profound and lasting changes in the lives of the underserved children she chose to serve in those early days.
Paul Savramis explains that Ebony Young worked with Rising Stars as well as other community leaders to develop a tutoring program for Rising Stars participants. Those students already enrolled in the program saw dramatically improved grades and, thus, greater opportunities in high school and college.
Another important contribution that Ebony Young made to both Rising Stars family members as well as the general community is that she worked on programs that help parents and children engage with each other. Her passion for basketball and community service has always shone through in her actions. Because of her, Rising Stars was able to grow and form partnerships with other YMCAs as well as the Boys Club of America.
Paul Savramis wishes to congratulate Ebony Young for pursuing her passions to serve her community. He says that she is a true advocate for change and knows that she will uphold her campaign promise of focusing on problems 1% of the time and on solutions the remaining 99%.
Jonathan Medley, 11th grade, of Laurelton, attends St. Francis Preparatory School.
Fresh Meadows Private School has three new students thanks to Paul Savramis and his organization, Rising Stars Youth Foundation. Three students, freshmen Tyler Michel and Hayden Cutile and junior Jonathan Medley, will begin the new school year at Fresh Meadows Private School. Here, Savramis discusses a few key points of the students and the scholarships.
Q: What is the Rising Stars Youth Foundation scholarship program?
Paul Savramis: Each year, Rising Stars Youth Foundation provides scholarships, which are made possible by donors, to students who show promise in both athletics and academics. The students, which range from freshmen to seniors, are provided with the funds to attend one of the many prestigious high schools in the New York City area.
Rising Stars Youth Foundation founder Paul Savramis explains how his organization is now using learning pods – arguably the way of the future of education – to help student-athletes both in and out of the classroom.
Q: What are learning pods?
Paul Savramis: Learning pods are like remote classrooms. Each pod is available certain days of the week to a select group of students. Currently, RS has six pods throughout NYC and the surrounding area and caters to approximately 75 students.
Q: Why are they important?
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars has always worked toward being a caregiver for its students and their families. When the pandemic hit, many of the young people in our programs were suddenly thrust into being home 100% of the time. As schools open in the most unusual of ways, having pods available acts as both stability and an opportunity to interact with friends and strangers alike.
Rising Stars Youth Foundation receives dozens of applicants for its intern position each year. According to Paul Savramis, many of these young men and women looking to volunteer or their time are highly qualified. However, one applicant, Izzy DeFrancesco, really stood out.
Q: Who is Izzy DeFrancesco?
Paul Savramis: Izzy is a student at the University of Delaware College. She is pursuing a bachelors of arts, and her majors are in Women’s Studies and Communications. On paper, DeFrancesco has an impeccable set of credentials, including being a Dean’s List scholar with a 4.0 GPA. While these accolades caught everyone’s attention, it was this young woman’s personality that really stood out.
Q: What makes DeFrancesco such a strong candidate and good intern?
Paul Savramis: Her vibrance and energy. She has a zest for life, and she is not afraid to attack problems with a smile. One thing that truly stands out is her creativity and ability to breathe new life into everything we’ve thrown at her.
Paul Savramis has been teaching children on and off the court for more than three decades. During that time, he’s picked up quite a few pointers on how, exactly, to encourage today’s youth to be more and do more for themselves and their communities. Here, the founder of Rising Stars Youth Foundation shares insights.
Q: What makes a student-athlete a Rising Star?
Paul Savramis: A Rising Star is someone who wants to be better for himself, his family, and his community. These are healthy and confident children who work hard every day to improve from the inside out. Our Rising Stars are those who put in the hard work both on and off the court and maintain a positive attitude.
Paul Savramis says that the Rising Stars Youth Foundation has brought him much joy over the years. But there are a few things that bring the non-profit’s founder greater satisfaction than seeing where the lives of the student athletes lead them.
According to Paul Savramis, Rising Stars Youth Foundation has given birth to a few of the sport’s most notable citizens. Jay Williams, formerly of the Chicago Bulls, is one of these. Williams currently serves as Rising Stars Youth Foundation’s goodwill ambassador. The five-star athlete and his family are huge supporters of youth sports, both in New York and across the country.
COVID-19 has cost the world so much, says Paul Savramis. And, despite waning numbers in many areas, it continues to take a toll. And few people are paying more than the students and athletes of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation Family.
According to Paul Savramis, while the coronavirus was making waves in China, it popped up on his radar. He knew based on data available as far back as February that, should the virus make it to the US, it would change the way his organization operated. Basketball is, after all, a contact sport, and contact is the one thing that has to be avoided to slow the spread.
According to Paul Savramis, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way his organization, Rising Stars Youth Foundation, works. Typically, the basketball outreach program hosts classes and events after school, on the weekends, and during the spring and summer breaks. However, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have put an abrupt and unfortunate stop to this. Read on as Savramis opens up about a few things that are going to look different for Rising Stars for 2020.
Q: Rising Stars is known for its annual gala. Will this go on?
Paul Savramis: Sadly, for the first time in nearly 20 years, we have had to cancel our fundraising gala. This event is made possible by generous support from our community, and it is one of the primary ways that we spread awareness of the needs of our 200+ families. The gala, which was originally slated for May 19, would’ve brought together business and community leaders as well as some of the faces of Rising Stars Youth Foundation.
Rising Stars Youth Foundation has been using basketball to bridge the gap between athletics and academics for more than two decades. What started as a modest program for a handful of at-risk youth has blossomed into an outreach program that serves more than 350 boys and girls from 3rd through 12th grade, says founder Paul Savramis.
Q: How does Rising Stars work?
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars is a nonprofit outreach program that uses basketball as a vehicle to bring kids off the streets and put them on the court. We rely on donations and community support to provide both basketball and educational opportunities to the students we serve.