A non-profit organization started by a Yankees legend recently announced this year’s graduating class as well as its 2019 inductees.
On Friday, June 26, Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation announced the 2015 graduating class as well as the inductee class of 2019 for New York City’s Jeter’s Leaders, an intensive four-year leadership program, at the Picnic House in Prospect Park.
Jeter’s Leaders, Turn 2 Foundation’s signature and keystone program, gives high school students an opportunity to promote and spread awareness regarding academic achievement, positive behavior and healthy lifestyles among youth in their communities.
Out of the eight to-be college students that graduated from NYC Jeter’s Leaders, four of them were born, raised and attended high school in the Bronx – Chyla Pedroso from Theatre Arts Production Company School, Dianne Reid from Fredrick Douglass Academy I, Gloria Rosario from University Heights High School and Tod Forbes from Bronx Lab.
In addition, six Bronx students entering their freshman year in high school were inducted into the Jeter’s Leader’s Program for the class of 2019 – Jordan Pierre from Eagle Academy for Young Men, Derek Hernandez from Fort Hamilton High School, Raquell Carpenter from Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Angie Ordonez from Monsignor Scanlan High School, Yermarin Nunez from Bronx Collegiate Academy and Nia Brooks from Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice.
Ten NYC incoming freshman were inducted into the Turn 2 Foundation in total, and will begin it’s signature program in August at the Jeter’s Leader’s Service Project.
The Turn 2 Foundation, an organization which Derek Jeter founded after winning the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1996, was established to motivate teenagers, adolescents and young adults to turn away from drugs and alcohol and ‘turn 2’ healthy lifestyles.
As part of the Leaders Program, members serve as ambassadors for Jeter in their communities by modeling positive behavior and delivering positive messages to their peers focusing on staying in school, remaining drug and alcohol free and giving back to the community.
Members of the foundation must also practice what they preach by also remaining drug and alcohol free while maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher for all four years.
Upon graduation, the Turn 2 Foundation awards every Jeter’s Leader a $3,000 scholarship. Since 2008, 100% of Jeter’s Leaders have gone on to attend college.
Jeter’s founding of the organization was strongly motivated by arguably his two biggest role models – his father, Charles, a retired substance abuse counselor and Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who became the first active professional athlete to establish a charitable foundation when he founded the David M. Winfield Foundation in 1975, which still provides services to underprivileged youth and families in need.
Along with NYC, the Jeter’s Leaders Program also provides high school students with an opportunity in Tampa, Florida as well as Jeter’s hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“I was originally introduced to the Turn 2 Foundation by my sister, Darlene, who graduated from the program in 2012 – and that served as my motivation to be inducted,” said Reid.
“ I wanted to be just like her by spreading awareness and giving back to the community – which I was able to do in full because of all that was provided to me through this great program,” she added.
Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation said, “On behalf of everyone at Turn 2, we are so proud of everything that these leaders have accomplished and we know that they will continue to serve as remarkable leaders in their communities for many years to come.”