Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis says his organization is much more than basketball; and for that, he is grateful. In this short discussion, Savramis talks about what gratitude and the act of giving means to the boys and girls who have been a part of this amazing program over the past 20 years.
Q: Over the past 20 years Rising Stars has worked with a largely underserved clientele. How do you demonstrate to these children that they have something to be thankful for?
Paul Savramis: We all have something that we can focus on to help put us in good spirits. For many of our student athletes, it’s having someone that cares enough to shuttle them from game to game. I like to help each child look back at where they began as an athlete, watch them realize how far they’ve come, and demonstrate to them how far they can go. It goes to show that no matter where they started, they have the power to advance themselves, and that is something to be grateful for.
It’s been over 20 years since Paul Savramis founded Rising Stars back in 1996 as a way to give back to the community that gave him so much. Today, Rising Stars serves hundreds of boys and girls throughout Long Island and is continuing to work on addressing the need of expanding its popular and very successful youth programs to other areas.
Hearts and Hoops 2016
According to Paul Savramis, parents and students continue to be the most valuable resource Rising Stars has. This holds especially true during the holidays. Rising Stars hosts a number of charitable giving opportunities each year, with Hearts and Hoops being perhaps the most impactful. Hearts and Hoops was started in 2015 and brings together more than 100 student athletes from 4th through 8th grade to lend a hand to several local charities. “It’s one of our biggest successes of the year,” states Savramis. “The feel-good barometer goes off the charts with this one,” Savramis added. “Doing for others during the holidays is a gift you can give to yourself that just keeps giving!!”
Saturday, October 22, 2016 will be more than just a day to prepare for ghosts and goblins the following weekend, says Paul Savramis. The Rising Stars founder invites the community to Bayshore High School as Rising Stars student athletes join with the best of Nassau and Suffolk Long Island to play in support of the Seventh Annual Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic. The event, benefitting the Long Island Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, will feature some of high school basketball’s most elite players from Long Island. According to Paul Savramis, these players have been handpicked by coaches not just for their natural talent but for their character and off-court charisma.
The Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic is hosted in tribute to the father of Gordon Thomas, a New York Knicks draftee who played at St. John’s University. Paul Savramis reports that Alzheimer’s is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with over 5 million sufferers at any given time. The Basketball Classic works to raise awareness of this disease and to help families with loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s. The Rising Stars Youth Foundation has chosen to sponsor this year’s event after seeing how impactful past events had been on the players and families from Rising Stars that attended. Chief among those attendees in last years event was Paul Savramis who participated in the awareness day at the hospital and formed a friendship with Gordon Thomas. “We at Rising Stars are proud to sponsor this year’s event”, said Savramis, “Gordon does a great job in utilizing basketball to create awareness for Alzheimer’s and leave a lasting impact on every student athlete that participates in this event.”
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