Rising Stars, Inc. founder and youth advocate Paul Savramis recently presented seven student athletes with educational assistance in the form of scholarships. Students have been awarded full four-year grants to prestigious private high schools.
On May 4, 2015, hundreds of well-wishers gathered at the Old Westboro Country Club, dressed to the nines, to honor seven outstanding young men. The students, Mr. Hassan Diarra, Mr. Jamani Fowler, Mr. Tyshawn High, Mr. Elijah Perry, Mr. Ryan Washington, Mr. Kimani Merchant, and Mr. Zayquan Warren were each awarded a four year tuition scholarship to their respective schools. Mr. Paul Savramis presented the awards.
Paul Savramis is the founder of Rising Stars, Inc. and an outspoken and well-known youth advocate. He says, “We use basketball as a vehicle to promote education.” He added at the ceremony that each of the young men had exemplified what the foundation was about: overcoming struggles and fighting for a better future. Continue reading
Many students need a helping hand to find their place in the world. Now, many have a solid foundation thanks to the Rising Stars education fund and scholarship programs, says Paul Savramis.
Rising Stars has long demonstrated an unwavering devotion to enriching the lives of underserved youth. A key component for many of the organization’s participants has been the scholarship funds available to students who show unreserved commitment to bettering themselves and their communities. Paul Savramis recently announced that Rising Stars has streamlined the application process, which is now accessible online.
Making a Difference, Every Day
Rising Stars is more than just basketball, emphasizes Paul Savramis. It is an outreach program with strong ties to the community. Through the organization’s education fund, Rising Stars offers financial and academic support to students seeking to make a better life for themselves and their families. Students like 2015 graduate Curtis Jenkins, who recently signed a letter of intent to Molloy College. And Evelyn, a recent Binghamton University scholarship recipient and LI Lutheran student from Nigeria whose coach says her academic and athletic success “was all made possible because of the efforts made by the Rising Stars Program.” Continue reading
There are few men who have given of their time so freely as Paul Savramis. Here, the founder of Rising Stars, Inc. shares the organization’s annual report (click here) and helps us understand what 2014 meant for this non-profit organization.
Q: How did Rising Stars evolve and change in 2014?
Paul Savramis: The biggest difference in our programs last year has been the level of growth. We have seen an increase in donations and added nearly double the number of new scholarships.
Q: How many scholarship programs are available?
Paul Savramis: I am proud to say that we now have 11 scholarships given to applicants from four annual funds. Continue reading
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, over five million Americans are currently suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, reports Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis. As the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s disease continues to impact families and communities across the nation. Paul Savramis and other Rising Stars leaders recently organized a family fundraiser to benefit a local organization dedicated to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Q: How did this family fundraiser originate?
Paul Savramis: Personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease, Long Island native and NBA draftee Gordon Thomas founded the Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic as a way to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Q: How was Gordon personally affected by this disease?
Paul Savramis: Gordon lost his father in 2010 to Alzheimer’s Disease. As a result, he felt the need to assist others who are currently experiencing the same diagnosis in their families. Continue reading
According to Rising Stars President Paul Savramis, the organization sees competition and being a part of teams as a excellent way to apply life skills developed through basketball. Teams help build and develop character and important values such as leadership, responsibility, and setting goals. Rising Stars Travel Basketball is offered seasonally, beginning in the third grade and is available until they graduate. Rising Star’s goal is to keep kids enrolled in teams throughout HS and provide continuity, says Savramis.
Q: What is travel basketball?
Paul Savramis: Travel basketball is more competitive and demanding than intramural or in-house basketball. Teams are chosen through a tryout process in mid-September by the travel coaches. Traveling basketball is for those truly committed to developing their basketball skills and competing at a higher level. It requires a greater commitment and each player is expected to attend all practices and tournaments. Continue reading
Q: You speak about how the Knicks made it possible for an unforgettable experience. What was that experience?
Paul Savramis: We have worked with the Knicks in the past in offering clinics for kids and their parents throughout the Metropolitan area. Many of these were on Long Island or Westchester and they were not possible for our NYC kids to attend or enjoy. Then, early this past June, the Knicks called us and asked if we would like to have 50 of our NYC kids come to a free clinic at Madison Square Garden.
Q: That sounds too good to be true.
Paul Savramis: It did. And it just got better from there. The Knicks not only offered the clinic at the garden, but they told me that they would allow the kids access to the garden through the locker areas and the players tunnels. The kids would feel like NBA players for the day. Continue reading
According to Paul Savramis, Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of state teams and national organizations dedicated to increasing the donation of tissue, eye and organs. The group’s mission is to encourage people to sign up for their home state’s donor registry. Their work includes donor registry supervision, Division of Motor Vehicles outreach and school education.The issue is not the organization or its mission, it’s how to help with awareness of both.
Former Rising Stars participant and current Rising Stars ambassador Jay Williams received the Donate Life Champion award in 2012, reports Paul Savramis. A graduate of Duke University, Williams was named national player of the year in men’s basketball for the 2001-2002 season. He played professionally for the Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets before accepting an analyst role with ESPN in 2008. Jay’s involvement with Donate Life is also a personal one. His mother and acting Rising Stars President Althea Williams is a kidney transplant recipient. Continue reading