Colts' Sanders Honored with Humanitarian Award
ORLANDO – Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc., the largest national youth football and cheerleading organization in the United States, will present its Humanitarian Award to Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders at the 49th All-American Scholar Banquet May 23 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
In the off-season, Sanders devotes much of his time to youth initiatives in Indianapolis. His Chasing Dreams Foundation (www.bobsandersfoundation.org) has partnered with Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School to host the Dream Chasers program, providing 21 eighth-twelfth grade students with weekly tutoring sessions and monthly activities including cultural events, college readiness workshops and job shadowing opportunities to better prepare them for success in their pursuit of a college education. Sanders also conducts an annual football camp free of charge for high school students in his hometown of Erie, Pa.
The award is a special honor that Pop Warner reserves for people that have truly had a direct impact on the community; it has only been awarded twice – to Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals in 2005 and Josh Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns in 2008 – and will be a highlight of this year's banquet.
"We are pleased to present Bob with the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award for his commitment to mentor youth in his hometown and Indianapolis," said Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner. "His dedication to inspiring youth and emphasizing the importance of higher education is truly admirable."
The banquet honors the most academically advanced student-athletes from Pop Warner programs nationwide and recognizes several individuals and public figures for their commitment to academics, athletics, communities, and the betterment of youth across America. More than 2,000 people are expected to attend the event.
"I am honored to accept the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award," said Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Colts Safety. "It's been a life-long dream of mine to give back and serve others in a meaningful way. This recognition for the work that I am doing with my Chasing Dreams Foundation is a blessing and truly humbling."
Pop Warner is the only youth sports organization that requires academic guidelines for its members to participate in its programs. Each year participants with high academic standings (96% GPA) are encouraged to apply for recognition at the event. Also factored into consideration are school-oriented extracurricular activities and community service commitments from the previous year.
This year's All-American Scholars comprise the top one percent of all Pop Warner participants nationwide. Over 7,500 scholar-athletes were named to the First Team, Second Team or Honorable Mention All-American Scholars, based on a score calculated from the student's grade point average and addendum activities.
First Team All-American Scholar is the highest achievement a Pop Warner student-athlete can achieve, with only 35 football participants and 35 cheerleaders and dancers selected per grade level. First Team All-American Scholars in eighth grade and higher are also eligible for one of many scholarships awarded at the banquet.
About Pop Warner:
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world's largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 43 states, Guam, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their starts in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com.
About Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation:
Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation strives to enhance educational opportunities for students in grades 8-12 through academic support, cultural enrichment activities and college readiness programming enabling them to pursue their dreams of a college education. It is the goal of Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation to inspire potential college students to view college as a requirement in their future planning by offering the tools and resources to give them confidence in making college a reality. Through exposure to institutions of higher learning, tutoring, mentoring, life skills training and cultural enrichment activities, students will gain the knowledge to prepare them for future success.
Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation has partnered with Indianapolis Public School's Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School to host the Dream Chasers program. Dream Chasers are a group of 21 diverse students selected by school officials and Foundation staff to participate in the program. Upon admission to the program in the eighth grade, Dream Chasers participate in weekly tutoring sessions with an emphasis on general subjects and areas of underperformance. In addition, they will be exposed to various cultural activities including guest speakers and field trips, as well as, having the opportunity to visit college and university campuses. For more information on Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation, visit www.bobsandersfoundation.org.