In the fall of 2016, the Rising Stars Youth Foundation launched a pilot program to deal with the many challenges facing schools on Long Island’s Greater South Bay area. Rising Stars founder and community outreach director Paul Savramis credits the cooperation of local leaders and applauds the GSB YMCA for the programs incredible success in its first year.
Gang violence in the Great South Bay area of Long Island is a problem that has attracted national attention and special visits from the president of the United States.
It’s a problem that touches children as young as 10 years old and stays with them throughout a lifetime. In cooperation with the Great South Bay YMCA, Rising Stars and Paul Savramis initiated the area’s first afterschool programs that combined academic social and community service support with a national basketball program. The program, which also offers children membership in the YMCA and access to the Rising Stars’ academic scholarship pool, is the flagship program for all of Rising Stars Community Outreach Initiatives. Savramis explains that all children enrolled in the program are required to improve school attendance, perform community service projects, and improve their overall GPAs to remain in the programs.