On a cold January night in New York, more than a dozen girls came together in a cell phone-free zone to talk about something important: each other. Paul Savramis, Rising Stars Youth Foundation founder, shares info on the Beautiful Me workshop in the following brief Q&A.
Q: What is Beautiful Me?
Paul Savramis: Beautiful Me is a self-esteem workshop we put on regularly for the girls in our youth programs. Essentially, it is a night that allows our girls’ teams to interact with each other and learn to appreciate their teammates’ positive qualities beyond the free throw.
In early 2018, Rising Stars made an important change to its website and overall future outlook.. Here, Rising Stars Founder and President Paul Savramis explains the launch of Rising Stars Youth Foundation.com. and the organizations “new” look.
Q: What does the addition of the term “Youth Foundation” mean for Rising Stars?
Paul Savramis: Our title as Rising Stars Inc. never truly defined the scope of our work nor was it a clear presentation of what we were. There were not many Rising Stars in 1996 and we were the only ones associated with youth sports and education. As the years past many others began using the name in one form or another and it began to really get confusing.
We actually developed a site “About Rising Stars Inc.” that helped to separate and better describe our identity and the two working models ..athletics and academics that were at the core of Rising Stars..
September was a busy month for parents, teachers, and students getting back into the swing of things for the 2017/2018 school year. Paul Savramis, founder of Rising Stars, reports that despite tedious schedules, there was a full house at the organization’s recent college night. Savramis offers a few details below.
Q: What was the main topic of discussion at the event?
Paul Savramis: Pinnacle Consultants, the group that led our seminar, focused on applications for college. Many hopeful college students and their families find that process confusing or have trouble understanding what documents are required. Pinnacle walked them through the admissions process, thereby giving our student athletes the confidence (and tools) to move forward.
Recently a handful of Rising Star student athletes spent the evening volunteering with New York’s Homeless Bus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food and other basic necessities for the area’s homeless population. Rising Star’s founder Paul Savramis says having the opportunity to see the long lines of men, women, and children waiting for food and supplies was a meaningful experience to the young volunteers.
Q: What is the Homeless Bus?
Paul Savramis: The Homeless Bus was founded in 1992 by Director Mark Landgrebe and his wife Anna after the couple attended a seminar that introduce them to a program in Hawaii that fed homeless people during the holidays. Today, the Homeless Bus serves a warm meal and provides essentials such as socks and personal sized toiletries to New York City’s homeless population.
Rising Stars founder and President Paul Savramis, recently announced that Open Season a grassroots program from the Great South Bay area of Long Island will soon become a part of the Rising Stars’ family.
According to Paul Savramis, this is just one of three recent community outreach programs initiated by Rising Stars. The Great South Bay of Long Island has seen an increase in the number of youth searching for basketball program in recent years. Paul Savramis believes a partnership between Open Season and Rising Stars will not only help to fill this need it will also create awareness in providing families from the area additional information of safe and nurturing environments available to them.
Paul Savramis reports that Rising Stars has seen great success from outreach programs over the past 12 months, including sponsorship of the Alzheimer’s Basketball Classic and the Academic+ program at the Great South Bay YMCA. Continue reading
December 19, 2016
Carmelo Anthony and his namesake nonprofit organization recently rewarded 200 local children with an amazing night of friendship and fun. Rising Stars Founder and President Paul Savramis reported that a half dozen Rising Stars student athletes were among the lucky attendees.
“ We are proud to see our program represented and equally proud to see these kids recognized for what they are doing “ said Savramis.
Savramis added,”There is never a shortage of reports on the negatives surrounding sports and athletes so it’ a refreshing change of pace to see a focus placed on oft the many positives that are there as well.”
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