The Jeter's Leaders Social Change Project is a week-long event that brings together all the youth in the program from New York and the Kalamazoo area for an insightful service journey to the selected area. The Leaders aim to make an impact on an area outside of their hometown. The Leaders are given the opportunity to tour the host city, visit area colleges and attend various information sessions.
Miami Marlins CEO and part owner, Derek Jeter, and Turn 2 Foundation president Sharlee Jeter joined more than 100 high school students from the Jeter's Leaders program and Goldman Sachs employees to spread positive social change and help transform Jose de Diego Middle School in Miami.
Throughout the day, they worked together to beautify the school with artistic and inspirational murals, fostering a creative environment for the more than 500 students. The improvements are intended to inspire youth to lead healthy lifestyles, focus on their education, and work hard to accomplish their goals. As part of the program, the Jeter's Leaders:
- Created inspirational messages and words of kindness on bathroom doors
- Painted a "spread kindness" mural
- Repainted pots to match the school's new, artistic atmosphere and repotted plants
- Livened up the gym with two sports murals
- Created two healthy-eating murals in the dining hall
- Established a stem/robotics mural in the engineering classroom
- Created a welcoming entrance outside the culinary room with a garden mural
- Repainted stairways, built benches that will be placed throughout the school halls and repainted the basketball court
"It makes me so proud to see young people come together to support one another and make a difference," said Derek Jeter, founder of the Turn 2 Foundation. "These students have done a tremendous amount of incredible work that will positively impact the community, and their passion and commitment to serving as agents of social change every day truly inspires me. I'm happy to have been able to bring the Jeter's Leaders to Miami, and work together on such an amazing service project in a place that means so much to me."
Later in the day, the volunteers embarked on a tour of the campus, where they learned about the numerous murals currently displayed at the school and the notable artists who created them. The Turn 2 Foundation also donated $10,000 to Jose de Diego Middle School.
"A core component of the Jeter's Leaders program is teaching youth the importance of giving back and empowering others to follow suit," said Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation. "This initiative provided our Jeter's Leaders with a unique opportunity to venture outside of their communities, share fundamental Turn 2 values with other young people and inspire students to dream big and work hard to accomplish their goals. I'd like to thank Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks and HandsOn for working with our Foundation to present such a wonderful and impactful program."
The service project was in partnership with Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks, the firm's volunteer program through which the people of Goldman Sachs contribute their ideas and expertise to drive tangible progress in communities where they work and live. Turn 2 coordinated the project with HandsOn, an organization committed to engaging, empowering and transforming communities through volunteer services. The Foundation previously worked with HandsOn at its 2010 and 2017 Social Change Projects. Haddad Brands donated t-shirts to the Foundation for the event.
"It is our honor and pleasure to again be part of an amazing year with the Jeter's Leaders to support the Jose de Diego Middle School. Providing guidance, influence and life experiences help prepare these kids for a future of success," said Tucker York, head, Global Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. "For over 20 years, the Turn 2 Foundation has invested in these programs to support youth and we have proudly shared many of their milestones."
"Jose de Diego Middle School is a campus adorned with 86 murals on both the interior and exterior of its building. We also offer a unique education program that partners students with renowned artists who serve as their mentors, with a goal of ensuring we continue to cultivate future artists," said April Thompson, principal of Jose de Diego Middle School. "This project with the Turn 2 Foundation will expose students to opportunities that not only expands their artistic mind but also deepens their understanding of community service."
Throughout the week, the Jeter's Leaders also visited a number of universities in the area, as part of a special college tour. The New York Jeter's Leaders began their tour at St. Thomas University, where they had the opportunity to explore the campus. On the next leg of the tour, the students were joined by the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders on visits to Florida Memorial University, University of Miami, Barry University, Florida Atlantic University and Florida Memorial University. During each visit, the Leaders toured the campuses, attended information sessions and met with faculty members.