Raheem Sterling launches foundation at former school
Targets social mobility for young people
Raheem Sterling says he wants to help young people achieve their dreams and fulfil their potential.
The professional footballer, who was born in Jamaica and moved to the United Kingdom as a child, unveiled The Raheem Sterling Foundation on Tuesday at his former school, the Ark Elvin Academy in the UK.
“My journey to date has been well documented, but nothing would have been achievable without belief, family, great mentors and the opportunities I have embraced. My foundation is built on my experiences, successes, and the many challenges I overcame; I now want to help young people achieve and be the best they can be,” said Sterling.
A release said the foundation aims to educate, empower and inspire young people to become better prepared for the future and to embrace opportunities to achieve greater social mobility. It will serve Jamaica, the UK and beyond to champion greater social mobility, further education, empowerment, and to facilitate young people despite the challenges they may face in achieving their full potential. It is powered by The Power of 7. This notion is not only a reflection on Sterling’s number at Manchester City, but incorporates the vital parts of the foundation’s core approach – education, employment, enterprise, creativity, personal development, accountability and social mobility.
The 1692 link featured in the foundation’s logo acknowledges the earthquake that shook Jamaica on June 7 1692, destroying Port Royal. From the ruins, Kingston was born and for Sterling, who was raised in Maverley, Kingston, it represents his homeland and where his roots are firmly planted, but have now grown across the globe to London and Manchester.
Pupils at Ark Elvin Academy took centre stage in meeting Sterling at Wembley Park, in front of the recently unveiled Olympic Steps that lead to Wembley Stadium, after completing a one-mile Power of 7 walk from the school to the stadium. On their journey, they walked down Wembley Park’s transformed Olympic Way, visited seven plinths (each one a reference to the Power of 7), and learnt all about the #BoyFromBrent, the foundation’s backstory and Sterling’s vision for the future.
Pupils and teachers took part in the foundation’s charter unveiling during a school assembly.
Rebecca Curtis, principal at Ark Elvin Academy, hailed Sterling as a role model. “Raheem is such an inspirational role model to our community in Brent, and especially our children at Ark Elvin Academy. What he stands for on and off the pitch helps our children see that high expectations and hard work win. The launch of the foundation is an exciting opportunity for our children to learn from Raheem directly and see what can be achieved, despite the challenges that he faced. Our motto at Ark Elvin is ‘Dare for Greatness’, and Raheem’s work helps us do just that!”
Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said, “Raheem, our boy from Brent, has accomplished so much since he and his family moved to our borough many years ago. His actions have inspired many people around the country, and he is a great role model for our young generation. It is wonderful to see him launch his foundation that will no doubt have a positive impact on young people in this country and Jamaica.”
At the launch, Sterling announced the first two fully funded initiatives, in collaboration with Headspace and the Brent-based The Promise Foundation, who will deliver mentoring programmes across the borough, starting at the Ark Elvin Academy.
“We are honoured to be an official partner of the foundation, and will be playing an active role in bringing education around mental health and meditation to this community as part of this. Our first collaboration will see us commit to building a safe, still, and serene meditation room, so that this community can learn and practise meditation. This is one of the many steps we will be making together with Raheem, but watch this space as we embark on this first project together in early 2022,” said Louise Troen, vice-president of international marketing at Headspace.
Simon Marks, project director at The Promise Foundation, said, “The Promise Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with The Raheem Sterling Foundation in bringing its mentoring programme to the Ark Elvin Academy. The Promise Foundation shares Raheem’s passion for social mobility, and championing the next generation, through education and empowerment, and helping them prepare for the future and achieving their full potential.”