NEW YORK – The team from Greek nonprofit Field of Life, including CEO of Field of Life, renowned basketball coach and former player Panagiotis Giannakis, and COO Dimitris Giannakakis, recently paid visits in New York to two other organizations that focus on helping young people reach their full potential: the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club Pinkerton Clubhouse and the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball Charter School.
All three organizations are partners of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
Field of Life was established in 2019 at the initiative of and with founding support from SNF, with the goal of providing kids and adolescents the tools and guidance they need to explore their talents and interests, develop skills, grow in character, and reach for their dreams. It will be based in the Athens suburb of Nikaia but will travel around Greece to reach more young people with its programming. This week, the Field of Life team traveled even further afield to meet and collaborate with U.S. peers in the youth development space, one an established leader in the field, the other fellow recent entrant.
The Earl Monroe School, located in the South Bronx, welcomed its first students in the fall of 2021 with support from SNF. The first high school in the country designed around the game of basketball, it aims to use the game as the focal point in an education that opens pathways of opportunity for students from some of New York’s Most challenging neighborhoods. Named for former NBA star Earl Monroe, the school was recently featured in a video by sports network ESPN.
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club likewise provides safe, stable, supportive environments for young people in some of New York City’s most underserved areas. Madison clubhouses provide academic support and enrichment, activities for a wide range of interests including sports, and help developing good character and healthy lifestyles. SNF has had a longstanding partnership with Madison, including in supporting the opening of the Pinkerton Clubhouse in Harlem.
SNF strives through its grantmaking to create opportunity for young people to thrive personally, excel academically, and prepare for fulfilling futures. Sports especially, we believe, can be an effective framework for imparting the habits, interpersonal skills, mentorship, and sense of belonging kids need to flourish. We also believe that a key role philanthropy can play is in connecting organizations doing essential work, like these three, to share ideas, experience, best practices. Supporting young people in reaching their full potential is, after all, a team sport.