On Friday, May 13, I spent the day at Roc Nation. I was granted access through the UWANTGAME program that gives students the opportunity to shadow the jobs of employees while at work. It was an honor to be able to visit the building because Roc Nation is a major agency that represents top athletes and music artists. What makes the company even better is the man who it’s run by, Mr. Shawn Carter himself, aka Jay Z. An international rap star who started struggling in New York City, just like me and the millions of other kids around the city.
I walked in the building with a huge smile on my face and left with an even greater one. I had the opportunity of shadowing Jose Mena. Jose works in the Philanthropy department and runs many non-for-profit organizations that help enrich and strengthen communities everywhere. That was a perfect department for me to be in because I participate in non-profit activities all the time.
I used to run “Back to School” drives to make sure kids in the community had backpacks and other supplies to get them through the school year. Working with Jose was a blast, as I learned some more skills that I can definitely use in my everyday life. Reaching out to others and taking the initiative is what makes others want to follow in our lead. The meeting was exciting and so was running into the many other employees who keep the place running and gave us advice on how to be great and to follow our dreams as we continue to study hard.
At the end of the day we were surprised with gifts from Roc Nation. I was quite thankful for this experience and would love to go back again. I will continue to keep in contact with those I met at Roc Nation in hopes of interning there in the summer or go in whenever they would like me to.
My experience at the National Football League (NFL) office was unique and different from any other offices I’ve visited. I personally enjoyed my visit because I learned the different things they do there and what they plan to do in the upcoming years.
One thing I enjoyed from my experience at the office was that each floor had a different designated meaning and purpose. For example, the NFL occupied the 5th, 6th, 7th floors of the building; the 5th floor’s meaning was the game, 6th was the fans and the 7th was executive (I believe that’s the order).
We also met a former player, Roman Oben, that day. While talking to him, we learned of the duties of an NFL player and the process of getting drafted and traded throughout his 12-year career. We also got a chance to observe the 49 Super Bowl rings – all the way from the first one ever. Each ring was designed differently, even if the team won consecutively. There we learned that the team with the most Super Bowl rings is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We also got the opportunity to attend a photo shoot, where they were shooting teams’ accessories and meals to eat throughout a football game. We learned that there is a lot of different merchandise sold to fans that can be used throughout a football game. We were also shown how the League designs new logos and were given a look of the new designs for the next season.
During our visit we were also given gift bags with football gloves (of our favorite team), a notepad whose cover is made up of the same material as the football (which was my favorite gift!) and two hats (one of the NFL and one of our favorite team).
I was truly happy to visit such a successful business and hope to work in the same offices or somewhere close to that field one day.
On Tuesday, June 7, UWANTGAME hosted its annual Bowling Benefit for NYC high school students at Bowlmor Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. A packed room filled with students from the Business of Sports School, student-athletes from Castle Athletics’ 15U AAU team, kids from the Youth Leaders of Emmanuel Church, Brooklyn’s South Shore HS girls’ basketball team and select youth from the Shawn Carter Foundation mingled with sports business executives, as a game of bingo and — of course— intense bowling competition allowed for the diverse group of kids to learn more about the executives’ careers, many of whom work for the NBA, NFL, MLB, Madison Square Garden and Roc Nation Sports, among the multiple of other supporting entities in attendance.
A social media contest — with an XBOX 360 on the line — had guests looking to creatively snap their best photos from the night. In the end, an abundance of photos from the Castle Athletics’ 15U team gave them the edge and ultimately took home the gaming console as a group, which they now plan to take with them on the road for when they hit tournaments on the AAU circuit this summer.
A silent auction, with items such as tickets to upcoming concerts, MLB and NFL games, as well as autographed apparel from NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA players (including Kobe Bryant) — among other memorabilia, took place behind the bowling lanes. Participants stopped by the auction after grabbing a bite to eat from the nearby complimentary catered food spread.
We want to thank everyone who attended this year’s UWG Bowling Benefit and contributed not only to the organization’s future initiatives in the community but also for making it a memorable experience for the HS students in attendance. We look forward to announcing our future partnerships and programs for the 2016-2017 school year in the very near future, and continuing to utilize sports as a vehicle to bring career development and life skills programs, as well as college scholarship opportunities, to high school students.
In the meantime, scroll through the photo gallery above by clicking on the sides of each photo to see moments from the special night!
When I first heard about the opportunity to job shadow Cherise George at Madison Square Garden, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I was just going to Madison Square Garden to sit all day in an office, but it actually wasn’t like that at all. This opportunity had me on the field—hands-on—interacting and communicating as if I worked there.
When I first got there and I met Cherise, after speaking we noticed that we had a lot of similarities. We play basketball, we both tore our ACLs, and we’re both young black women. Meeting Cherise was a really good experience for me because I had the chance to meet new people that helped me gain confidence to step out of my comfort zone to try different things and create connections for the future.
The most memorable thing that happened to me that night was when I first got there and got to sit down with Cherise. She told me about herself and what she does, and I felt very comfortable when speaking with her. Cherise works on bringing the Knicks organization to different communities and she helps kids that either can’t afford to come to Madison Square Garden or just never been before. She gives kids a chance to gain skills and experience to work in a basketball environment with people that know the game.
The day I went to work at MSG, Cherise told me her job was to bring a young basketball team filled with boys and girls to play a 5-on-5-basketball game during halftime of the Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers game. After looking at the kids that were picked to play, you can tell that these kids were so excited to be there and were happy to experience playing a sport they love. They wore Junior Knicks uniforms, they had substitutes, they got to sit on the Knicks and Pacers bench, and they had the whole crowd watching them play. It was almost like getting a real glimpse of playing in an NBA game. These are the opportunities that kids around the world won’t have but because Cherise has a big heart she helps kids get this experience.
Mia Hall, a writer, public speaker and career strategist with 10+ years of experience working for the WNBA, Barclays Center and Black Enterprise (just to name a few), was among the guest speakers at UWANTGAME’s Women in Sports Panel Discussion on March 23, 2016 in New York City’s Business of Sports School. In the video above, Mia Hall speaks on some of the topics she discussed with the students, including the importance of mentorship programs for the youth, and teaching the next generation about networking, staying in touch and obtaining internship opportunities as ways to kickstart their careers.
The NFL’s Player Engagement Coordinator Carla Lide was among the guest speakers at UWANTGAME’s Women in Sports Panel Discussion on March 23, 2016 in New York City’s Business of Sports School. In the video above Lide speaks on some of the topics she went over with the students, including the significance of mentors, her academic preparation, and the importance of broadening one’s horizons and taking chances in order to build up a versatile resume and gain a fully well-rounded experience.
To watch the recap video of all the guest speakers from last month’s panel discussion, please click HERE .
On March 23, 2016, UWANTGAME hosted its monthly sports business panel discussion for NYC high school seniors at the Business of Sports School. The theme of this particular session focused on “Women in Sports” and therefore featured successful female sports executives as guest speakers. The panel consisted of Morgan Cato (Senior Manager of Early Career Development at the NBA), Carla Lide (Player Engagement Coordinator at the NFL), Guiselle Torres (Senior Counsel at the MLS), Mia Hall (Writer, Public Speaker & Career Strategist), and Shana Stephenson (Editor-in-Chief of All Sports Everything).
Among the topics of discussion were the paths each took to discover their respective passions within the sports industry, the experiences that shaped their career development, and some of the mentors that helped lead the way for them, among other themes.
Check out the video above to hear some of the advice the guest speakers gave students at last month’s panel discussion.
On February 24, 2016, high school seniors at the Business of Sports School (B.O.S.S.) in New York City partook in the first UWANTGAME Sports Panel Discussion of the year. This first session focused on African Americans who work in the sports industry.
The panel was composed of Cherise George, Fan Development Associate at the New York Knicks and Social Media Correspondent at Hard 2 Guard TV, Austin Moss, Manager of Player Engagement at the NFL, and Ashley Blackwood, a branding & communications expert who has previously work for the New York Knicks and GMR Marketing.
All three guests spoke to the students about their respective roles in sports, how they got their foot in the door, advice they would offer to those looking to break in and afterward had time to even answer some questions from B.O.S.S. students.
Scroll through the photo gallery above for a visual recap of the panel discussion. Our second panel is slated for later this month at B.O.S.S. and will focus on the sports communication field and successful female executives in the industry.
UWANTGAME INTRODUCES “LEADERS IN SPORTS” SCHOLARSHIP
Contact: Deborah Embaie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, February 22, 2016 – Beginning Monday, February 1, 2016 through Thursday, March 31, 2016 UWANTGAME will award $1,000 scholarships to three deserving high school seniors to continue their academic journey. Scholarships will be awarded to high school students who reside in New York City, Houston, and Chicago. The selection process will be based on a point system and the top three applicants will be awarded one of three UWANTGAME “Leaders in Sports” Scholarships.
UWANTGAME has long recognized that participation in sports has enhanced leadership skills, academic aspirations, discipline, team work and interpersonal skills, self-confidence and has promoted the value of goal setting. In recognition of how these vital skills contribute to successful and productive community citizens, the organization aims to support the collegiate and academic aspirations of graduating high-school students with financial hardships that will not continue their academic endeavors through full collegiate athletic or academic scholarships.
UWANTGAME has reached over 450 student-athletes in its effort to assist them in reaching their potential in academics, athletics, and personal growth through the development of life and career skills. Through various events and mentorship opportunities, UWANTGAME has served the community as an enrichment program, for which participants are taught the value of building and connecting the powers of the mind, body and spirit on the playing field and in the game of life.
The UWANTGAME “Leaders in Sports” Scholarship application is due by March 31, 2016 at 5:00pm [EST]. Please CLICK HERE to download application.
UWANTGAME is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the personal and professional life skills of high school student-athletes and students with a concentration in Sports Management through mentorship relationships with successful sports professionals. UWANTGAME believes that when given the proper guidance and support, individuals can achieve success in all aspects of their lives. The organization strives to provide its mentees with the educational and emotional support needed to achieve their academic, athletic, and personal development goals. For more information on how to apply please visit: www.uwantgame.org.
Midway High School
Favorite Coach and/or Teacher:
Mr. Moore and Mr. O’Neill
Area Where Your Mentor Can Help You?
She can help me with college applications and ways to get noticed by coaches.
Plan to Attend College / Favorite School?
Yes, I want to go to Syracuse
Love and Basketball
Catcher in the Rye
Cappie Pondexter, Kevin Durant