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New York Jeter's Leaders

New York Jeter's Leaders Annual Graduation/Induction Banquet
By Victoria, Nelson, Corinne and Fatimata, Jeter's Leaders Members since 2009
July 1, 2009

On July 1, 2009, the New York Jeter's Leaders hosted their Annual Graduation/Induction Banquet at the Picnic House located in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. The night celebrated the Jeter's Leaders accomplishments over the last year, gave farewell to the 2009 graduating seniors, and welcomed a new class of freshmen to the program.

Co-presidents Darlene and Emani started the night by welcoming everyone to the event. Leaders Nazir and Nadine followed with an overview of the many activities and events that occurred during the 2008-2009 program year. They highlighted the Ronald McDonald House Fun Run, a Boston college tour, a Ski Trip/ Retreat, the California "Spring into College Tour," and the guest speakers the Leaders had the opportunity to hear, including Cornel West.

Following the lively introduction and program recap, the Leaders received a special treat while dinner was served. Graduating senior Tiffany, read a poem she wrote for the event. It was a heartfelt piece that chronicled her experiences as a Jeter's Leader.

After dinner, the Jeter's Leaders staff presented some very special awards and recognitions to deserving Leaders who had excelled throughout the year. Awards were given based on grades, attendance, mentoring, and leadership. As the incoming Leaders saw the dynamic group members accept their awards, it reminded them that the program is a support system, in addition, to a family outside of their own.

After the awards, it was time for the graduating seniors to join the Jeter's Leaders Alumni Program. Jordan, a former Jeter's Leader President who graduated in 2008, said a few words of welcome to the graduates as they began the transition into the Alumni Program. The floor then opened for personal salutes to the graduates from their peers. There were many memories shared, provoking both laughter and tears. Each graduate also received special gifts from the Turn 2 Foundation.

2009 graduates Jaleesa and Oni finished with a farewell address on behalf of all the graduates and gave a special award (a commemorative plaque) to the Turn 2 Foundation for their support over the years. The graduates had formally made their transition from Jeter's Leaders Program members to Jeter's Leaders Alumni.

Now it was time for the newest members of the New York Jeter's Leaders to be recognized and formally accepted into the program. As each name was called, a seat awaited them on the stage with welcoming gifts that they will use over the next 4 years. These items included a Jeter's Leaders jersey, a Social Change notebook, and a copy of Derek Jeter's autobiography, "The Life You Imagine," a guide to achieving one's dreams through positive choices and healthy lifestyles. As the new freshmen filled their seats, they were welcomed and applauded by their fellow Jeter's Leaders.

Freshman Victoria commented that, "As a new Leader you got to see what the program was all about and how the program was going to have a positive impact on your life as a teen and making us into great adults."

The new Jeter's Leaders Alumni members are looking forward to coming back and assisting the current Jeter's Leaders with events, such as Turn 2's Holiday Express in December. Additionally, the newest Jeter's Leaders are ready to be a part of the program and make an impact on their community. As one program door closes, another opens. Together, the new Leaders and Alumni will continue to carry out the Jeter's Leaders mission in bettering their community, their peers, and themselves.

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New York, Kalamazoo Leaders visit Washington, D.C.
By Sonille, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2007
July 2009

The Jeter's Leaders took their annual trip to Washington, DC on July 6-8, to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA). Not only were the New York Leaders present for this special trip, but the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders also had their first opportunity to attend the facility with the group from New York. During the trip, the group also visited prominent colleges in the area including, the US Naval Academy, John Hopkins, Georgetown, and Howard Universities.

After traveling from New York and Michigan, the Leaders met at a local hotel and were given a chance to reunite with their friends whom they hadn't seen in months. The Kalamazoo and New York groups spent the time reminiscing, while enjoying a pizza party. After this fun first night, the Leaders were ready to get some rest so they could take on Washington, DC in full force!

The next day both groups visited NIH where they were shown around the campus. While on their tour, the group realized why it was called the National Institutes of Health, with Institutes being plural. They learned that this center consists of many separate areas that deal with different segments of health and has research locations around the country.

Following the tour, the group had the chance to hear from three NIH Directors that were currently conducting research about alcohol. The first speaker was Jennifer Gorman, Director of the Visitor Center. She greeted the group and gave an overview of the NIH facility.

Next, Dr. Judith Arroyo, NIAAA Coordinator for Minority Health and Health Disparities Program, informed the group about the different cultures and their relationship with alcohol. The closing speaker, Dr. Vivian Faden, Acting Director of NIAAA Office of Science Policy and Communications, spoke briefly about the issue of binge drinking, a heavy consumption of alcohol in a short amount of time, most common among college freshman. She continued by informing the Leaders about the idea of a new social movement to reduce the drinking age to 18.

After hearing from the speakers, the groups separated into two groups. The first-time attendees, which included all of the Kalamazoo Leaders, visited the Animal Research Facility and listened to scientists talk about their work with animals and the affects they experience from substances.

The elder New York Leaders engaged in a brain presentation given by Dr. Dennis Twombly. In this presentation, they observed how much damage alcohol can cause on all parts of the body, especially the brain. After the long day at the facility, the groups met up again and headed back to the hotel. Upon returning, the Leaders prepared themselves for a formal dinner at the Peacock Cafe. There they enjoyed an exquisite dinner and had more time to bond. The Leaders took advantage of this time knowing that their next encounter may not be for some months.

The next day the New York and Kalamazoo Leaders said their goodbyes and both groups set out in different directions to tour four area colleges. The Kalamazoo Leaders headed to Georgetown and Howard Universities, while the New York Leaders visited the United States Naval Academy and John Hopkins University.

At the US Naval Academy the group saw how much strength and discipline it takes to be in the Navy. The Leaders had a firsthand look as to what one's life is like as a student at the Academy. Every aspect of the student's life is timed perfectly, from the time the student goes to bed, to the time they march to lunch. While there, the group also witnessed the amount of training the students must endure. The group learned that the mission of the US Naval Academy is for all students to graduate with the skills to continue to develop morally, mentally, and physically.

Lastly, the New York Leaders visited Johns Hopkins University, which was founded in 1876 and to this day remains one of the top teaching and research schools in the nation. The Leaders were surprised to find that Johns Hopkins offers every major imaginable. One interesting insight they learned while on their tour was that students at Johns Hopkins have the ability to start their own club-and it only takes three classmates to join and be up and running! After leaving Johns Hopkins, the Leaders were back on their way to New York. The trip was packed with so many fun and educational things to do and see-and was well worth the long ride!

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Jeter's Leaders Spring Into College Tour
By Seeta, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2008
April 2009

Each year during their Spring Break, the Jeter's Leaders embark on a weeklong college tour. The Spring into College Tour allows the Leaders to visit different cities each spring and learn about colleges in that area. From April 13-17, 2009, the New York Jeter's Leaders set out for California. The trip included notable landmarks of the west coast and prestigious colleges including Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, Pepperdine University, USC, the University of California Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley.

After arriving in Los Angeles, the first campus toured was Loyola Marymount University. The campus, located in the heart of Southern California, impressed the Leaders. Loyola Marymount is a four-year independent Catholic institution that takes pride in its liberal arts education program. The university balances its challenging liberal arts curriculum with a series of science courses that sets forth outstanding professional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Jeter's Leader then set off to the University of California, Los Angeles. Better known as UCLA, the school is a public, coeducational research university. During the tour, the Leaders were awed by the 419-acre campus located at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, only five miles from the Pacific Ocean!

The next day, the Leaders started out at the University of Southern California, also known as USC. The Leaders were amazed with the level of school spirit and academic standards the university holds. After a tour of USC, the Leaders made the short trip to Pepperdine University, where they were welcomed with an information session. Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university that consists of five colleges and schools committed to the highest standards of academic excellence. Pepperdine's goal is for its students' lives to be strengthened in purpose, service, and leadership.

Day 3 began with a trip to Santa Barbara. Arriving at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Leaders learned that the school is one of only 62 institutions elected to membership in the Association of American Universities. Newsweek's "Guide to America's Best Colleges" has named UCSB one of the country's "Hottest Colleges" twice in the past five years.

Taking a long bus ride, the group headed for Stanford University where another information session was scheduled. Stanford is one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions and spans across a sprawling 8,180 acres. While at the university, the Leaders enjoyed lunch with some current Stanford students. After a candid conversation over lunch that gave the Leaders a new feel for the school, they were off to their next stop, Berkeley. The public, coeducational research university located in Berkeley, California, is more commonly referred to as UC Berkeley. The school is the oldest of the 10 campuses affiliated with the University of California and is considered the flagship institution of the California higher-education system.

Throughout the entire trip, the Leaders saw numerous landmarks and popular sites. While in Los Angeles, the Leaders visited the Grammy Museum, an exciting, interactive celebration of the history of music. They also saw the Staples Center, home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. In Beverly Hills, the group drove by familiar sites including Rodeo Drive and Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. Hollywood was just as impressive. The Leaders were amazed with the Hollywood sign, celebrity handprints, movie studios, and celebrity homes. Toward the end of the trip, they visited Alcatraz Island, one of the world's most legendary prisons. After Alcatraz, the Leaders had some free time at Pier 39, which gave a wonderful view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. To end the trip, the Leaders enjoyed their last meal at In-and-Out Burger, a West Coast favorite!

On the way home, the Jeter's Leaders discussed how fun and educational an experience the entire trip was. They enjoyed every part, from seeing the landmarks to learning about the colleges. All of the Leaders were pleased to have the opportunity to go to California and explore life at the colleges on the other side of the country. They all agreed that the trip gave them a new and unique experience in broadening their college options.

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Leaders present business plan
By Oni, New York Jeter's Leader
March 7, 2009

On March 7, 2009, five months of hard work finally paid off, as the New York Jeter's Leaders presented business plans based around social change in a regional competition. The projects were created with help from members from the Students in Free Enterprising (SIFE) Team from New York's Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). In front of a panel of judges from both the Turn 2 Foundation and SIFE, the Leaders were put in the spotlight and gave competitive presentations of their small-business projects. Ranging from clothing stores to grocery stores, the plans were all innovative and well thought out, each with a purpose of helping to better their communities. One group presented the idea to start a business to stop human trafficking, a major problem in some communities. All of the plans were a reflection of how each Leader would like to improve local neighborhoods, as well as, allowing the Leaders to express their creativity and ingenuity.

The process of creating the plans was not simply filled with fun and games. In November, the Leaders first met with the SIFE Team to learn the various components of a business plan and why a strategic plan is necessary in the real world for small business owners. Working closely with the student members of SIFE, the Leaders learned the true meaning of competition and teamwork. The two groups spent Saturdays working together to create professional business plans, attempting to mimic actual plans created by businesses asking banks for loans.

By the day of the presentations, the Leaders were prepared to impress the panel of judges. Each group presented their business plans in a professional manner. The panel rated the groups on a rubric based on specific criteria: presentation skills; the ability to answer questions posed by the panel; usage of visual effects and the feasibility of the plan in the business world. Both the first and second place winning groups were awarded gift cards. The rewards from this competition were granted to all Leaders; the entire group was able to learn and understand the valuable process behind creating a business.

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Let's talk about abstinence
By Khadija, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
Feb. 17, 2009

On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, a group of New York Jeter's Leaders attended an optional Planned Parenthood Sexual Education Workshop. From the beginning, efforts were made to make everyone feel at ease by allowing the Jeter's Leaders to open up the discussion, ask questions, and share personal stories.

The teen presenters from Planned Parenthood began with a skit about peer and relationship pressure to have sex. In the skit, because his friend had boasted about his sexual activity, one of the teen boys (who was not sexually active with his girlfriend), began to feel inadequate and un-cool. In turn, he felt the need to pressure his girlfriend to have sex with him. His girlfriend; however, felt that she wasn't ready and stated valid reasons for not wanting to engage in any type of sexual activity. She even provided positive alternatives, such as playing a video game or going out to eat.

Afterwards, all of the Leaders were eager to practice a few skits with each other about how to say no to peer pressure. The group also played a game to test how comfortable everyone was with certain situations relating to sex. Everyone in attendance was given a card that stated "yes" or "no" on either side. They were then asked a series of questions and would use the cards to answer.

Many of the Jeter's Leaders were able to relate to the workshop because they knew someone who was pressured into having sex. Some leaders even voiced their decisions to live in abstinence. This workshop brought everyone closer together as a group and made the leaders feel even more comfortable around one another. It helped reinforce that sex does not define a relationship and that there are many positive alternatives to sex. It also reinforced the notions of self respect and respect for others. Most importantly, the group learned a valuable lesson; if you don't know how to stand up for what you believe in, then your self-respect and your self-worth will be abused.

Overall, the Planned Parenthood teens came in with a clear mission and executed it exceptionally well. The Jeter's Leaders admired the depth and fluidity of their presentation. Everyone felt as though the techniques learned during the presentation could be adapted and implemented in similar ways in the Jeter's Leaders mentoring activities with the younger After School Program children.

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Leaders get prepared to save a life
By Bria, New York Jeter's Leader
Jan. 10, 2008

On Jan. 10, 2009, the New York Jeter's Leaders became CPR and First Aid certified. As a mandatory component of the Jeter's Leaders Program, the Leaders attended a CPR and First Aid training course hosted by the American Red Cross. The Jeter's Leaders spent the entire day reading manuals, watching interactive videos and practicing how to react in various emergencies that might require CPR and/or First Aid. They learned the proper way to deal with broken bones, burns, hypothermia and allergies until medical assistance arrives in an emergency.

To reinforce each lesson, the Leaders were instructed to demonstrate the specific tasks. To show their mastery of each topic, the students were encouraged to talk each other through the steps of the procedure. They administered CPR on mannequins and participated in a performance test to become certified.

The course provided guidance on how to determine whether or not it is appropriate to give a person aid. The instructors explained the "Good Samaritan Laws" which protect citizens from legal issues that may arise in the act of assisting an injured or unconscious person.

At the end of the day, everyone took a written and practical test to review the valuable lessons. The New York Jeter's Leaders passed the course, and everyone was officially certified by the American Red Cross in both CPR and First Aid.

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Teensgiving 2008
By Amina, Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
Nov. 9, 2008

On Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008, the New York Jeter's Leaders participated in the 92nd Street YMCA Teensgiving Event. Teensgiving is a fun-filled day of community service in which more than 600 teens and 100 adults participate throughout New York City. The Jeter's Leaders were chosen to work with the New York City Parks and Recreation Department to help clean up St. Mary's Park in the Bronx.

Upon arrival at the park, the Leaders were anxious to find out exactly what they would be doing. The task assigned was raking leaves throughout St. Mary's many acres. As participants of the Jeter's Leaders Program, the students have participated in numerous community service activities but never anything quite like this. Raking leaves was a new experience for the group, being inner-city kids who don't rake leaves in their everyday lives. It proved to be hard work, especially on a very cold day, but despite the cold weather, the Leaders kept their spirits up by joking around and having fun with their assignment. It was a great example of Derek's Life Lesson -- "Be Serious, but Have Fun." At the end of the day, the group left with a feeling of accomplishment in having helped their community.

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Ronald McDonald Fun Run
Nov. 1, 2008

On Nov. 1, 2008, the New York Jeter's Leaders went out to support the Ronald McDonald Fun Run in Central Park. The Ronald McDonald House hosts the annual running event to raise awareness and funds designated for activities and events for families who reside in Ronald McDonald Houses in New York City. The Ronald McDonald House is a place for families to stay when their child is a patient at a hospital far away from their home. Supporters of the event were able to show their dedication by running or simply cheering on the runners.

"As the Jeter's Leaders arrived, they received t-shirts and began to prepare themselves to show their support by representing the 13-17 year old age group running in the event. While the Leaders started stretching, they mingled with the other runners who were there to support the Ronald McDonald House. Awaiting their turn, the Leaders cheered on the younger group of runners from the side lines. When it was time for their group, the Leaders assumed their positions and on the signal started running. Each Leader successfully completed the full mile and met at the finish line to congratulate one another on their achievement." - Rafael, New York Jeter's

After the race, a feeling of exhaustion and accomplishment overwhelmed the Leaders. They are happy to be involved with this event supporting the Ronald McDonald House and look forward to continuing to promote the Jeter's Leaders mission and the goals of the Turn 2 Foundation.

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Boston College Tour
By Divina, Jeter's Leaders member since 2007
Sept. 30, 2008

Filled with the excitement that each new Jeter's Leaders program year brings, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, the New York Jeter's Leaders set off on their first college tour of the new year, visiting Boston. After a five-hour bus ride, the Leaders arrived at Northeastern University. Jeter's Leaders alumnus and current Northeastern student, Simona Vareikaite, greeted the Leaders, then lead them on a tour of the university. Throughout the tour, Simona gave the Leaders important advice on making a smooth transition from being a high-school student to becoming a college student.

The group departed Northeastern University and boarded the bus en route to its next destination, Emerson College. Before exploring the campus, the Leaders enjoyed an information session presented by the admissions office and Jeter's Leaders Class of 2007 graduate Cristal Montanez, currently in her second year at Emerson College. The Leaders learned about the school's study abroad programs, which Emerson is known for, and were given a number of reasons (even if they were a little biased) why Emerson College would be a great choice in the quest for a higher education.

The first day in Boston ended with a walk on the Freedom Trail followed by the opportunity to explore the shopping malls in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. After two hours of shopping and exploring, the group was surprised by the Jeter's Leaders Staff with a dinner party at the legendary Cheers restaurant. After dinner, the group checked into their hotel for a night of rest, in preparation for the day ahead.

The Leaders began the next day bright and early, with a visit to Brandeis University. Upon their arrival, the group met with honorary Jeter's Leaders alumna Diane Marte and former Program Director of the New York Jeter's Leaders Program Jamele Adams. Jamele is currently serving as Associate Dean of Student Life at Brandeis University. During the tour, the hosts informed the group of the many opportunities Brandeis offers its students. After the extremely informational tour, the Jeter's Leaders departed Brandeis and headed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where they were given another tour by the admissions office. The Leaders then enjoyed lunch in the campus cafeteria, which offered food choices from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds.

Despite the pouring rain, the group continued on to their final stop, Harvard University. Most strikingly, the Leaders found that their assumptions of the need to be exceptionally wealthy in order to be considered to attend a university such as Harvard was not true. The guides at Harvard's Information Center discussed ways that if a student truly wants to attend a school of such caliber, their goal could be achieved if they worked hard enough. The group was given a tour of the campus and asked many questions about the university and what it had to offer.

"Jeter's Leader's college tours are designed to give a high school student the opportunity to explore the various options for college. I began to form an understanding of what college is truly about." - Divina, Jeter's Leader Class of 2011

On the long drive back to New York, many Leaders established a goal of applying to and attending one of the schools they visited on the Boston tour.

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Cornel West Speaks at 92st YMCA, Audience Is Mesmerized
By Evan, New York Jeter's Leaders Member since 2008
Sept. 25, 2008

On Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008, teachers and students from all over New York City gathered at the 92nd Street YMCA to see an amazing speech given by Cornel West. Cornel West, a world renowned professor at Princeton University, holds many prestigious awards for speeches and written work. A select group of 10 New York Jeter's Leaders were invited to attend the lecture. West was introduced by fellow speaker and close friend, Susan Neiman.

West, an amazing speaker, caught the audience's attention not only with his powerful words and voice, but through his mesmerizing body language. He presented to the audience of roughly 100 people a speech about humanity. Speaking enthusiastically, he talked about justice, love, and mercy. West's message was that one's life is painful and unworthy if one goes straight from "womb to tomb." He spoke powerfully about the upcoming election, as well as focusing on ethics and morality.

The speech was followed by a question and answer session. When one audience member asked, "How do you define philosophy?" West replied uniquely that, "A philosopher is a lover of wisdom." West continually preaches that love, mercy and justice are the only ways to solve problems, be they small or catastrophic.

When the speech and Q&A session came to an end, it took most in attendance some time to digest all of his words. Many audience members, including myself were taken aback by his performance. I am someone who thought that just one speech could not have such a powerful impact that it would change my opinions about something; however, I was proven wrong. I was truly moved. It is no doubt that whenever West speaks, he will be welcomed with open arms for the power of his words and the impact of his ideas. Attending this seminar not only opened my eyes to the political scene, it left me inspired to continue that inner search for myself.

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Jeter's Leaders Participate in All-Star Fan Fest
By Aaron, New York Jeter's Leaders Member since 2006
July 2008

The 2008 All Star baseball game was held in New York City at Yankee Stadium. Fanfest, which is held in conjunction with the All Star Game, is an event which promotes the sport at large to fans each year. This year's event was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The event was a place for baseball fans to see and learn all about baseball, from batting and pitching cages, to baseball video games and even t-ball games for toddlers. Fans were allowed to digest the scenes of America's "favorite pastime" in both a national and an international aspect by being exposed to its contribution not only to American culture and way of life, but its affect around the world.

With Derek Jeter being the spokesman for the All Star Weekend, it was only natural that his ambassadors, the Jeter's Leaders, were invited by Major League Baseball to have their own booth at All Star Fanfest to promote the Turn 2 Foundation and spread the message of the Jeter's Leaders Program. The Jeter's Leader's table was filled with pamphlets on the Program, Derek's All-Star Manuals, and other goodies such as stress balls, baseballs and key chains. As people began coming toward the table, the Leaders used their practiced public speaking skills to inform others about the central virtues of the Jeter's Leaders program including drug and alcohol abstinence and academic excellence among youth. Each child that approached the table was asked to sign a pledge stating that they would maintain a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. The parents and children were happy and appreciative of Derek's constant commitment and involvement within the community.

After the Leaders finished their outreach at the booth, they had the opportunity to explore Fanfest and see the variety of booths and exhibits. There were many give-a-ways, baseball trivia games, and even a sprinting event promoting Famous Footwear.

The Leaders were proud to represent Derek, the Turn 2 Foundation and the Jeter's Leaders Program, and exhibits all of their hard work and dedication to the program. In the future, they hope to see some of the kids they met at Fanfest apply to the Jeter's Leaders Program.

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Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $23 million to create and support signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Learn more »

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