Tesla Foundation, Police Athletics League, And Team Swish Teach Innovation And Leadership To Kids In East Cleveland

Local police athletics league chapter kicks off pilot of leadership, values and innovation educational program, in association with the Tesla Foundation, J.R. Smith, and the Team Swish foundation
Students in East Cleveland in Tesla List Pilot Program
Students in East Cleveland in Tesla List Pilot Program
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Jan. 25, 2017 - PRLog -- According to the Tesla Foundation and the National Police Athletics League, many American youth lack access to an aggressive educational program focused on Leadership, Values, and Innovation that enable them to craft a powerful vision for their own future and that of their communities. The problem is especially acute in America's most underserved, at-risk, and least upwardly mobile communities.

To tackle this problem, the Police Athletics League (PAL) Chapter in East Cleveland is participating in a Tesla Foundation Pilot Program over the next five Saturdays, with forty-five 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. A similar program will be piloted in Flint, Michigan, on Sundays.

Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith will participate in the program to share his insights from his career, Team Swish, and his drag race car team. Mr. Smith will help provide examples of the interface between leadership, technology, innovation, performance, and his Foundation to further help emphasize the importance of values.

The Program will use games and activities to teach skills that are key to Innovation: Self-Expression, Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Problem Solving. These skills are based on leading methods at Google, Apple, and other Fortune 500 companies. The Program will show PAL Youth how to use these skills to develop content and technology in non-technical terms, while highlighting the importance of Leadership and Values.

32-year-old Will Donovan created the program and will be teaching the pilot in East Cleveland and Flint, Michigan. The program was developed by drawing on his career working and living in 15 countries teaching leadership.

"I took my degree in Religious Studies," says Mr. Donovan, "and it opened my eyes to people. It was not a business or technology education. Later in my life I learned hard skills like Logistics, Data Analysis, Business Case Development, and Programming, but I always kept coming back to people … and I realized how important understanding people is to leadership and to gaining trust, and how easily trust can be lost. I've lived and worked all over the world in three different industries, I've probably flown over a million miles, and from what I've seen this is absolutely universal."

The Pilot will be expanded to at least 10 more PAL Chapters this summer, and will aim to scale nationwide by the beginning of the fall semester 2017. By the following year, the program will be opened to community organizations outside of PAL.

"East Cleveland is full of awesome kids. While PAL is well-known for athletics, the PAL mentoring program fosters friendship, community vision and collective responsibility beyond sports. The Tesla partnership allows us to expand our mentoring focus to include entrepreneurship, an important leadership trait. We are excited that Will Donovan, Tesla Foundation and Cleveland Cavaliers' JR Smith are using their resources and celebrity status to promote entrepreneurship and enhance the lives of East Cleveland's young people," said Vanessa Veals, East Cleveland PAL Director.

Students who complete the program will be registered in the Tesla Foundation's "Tesla List." The Foundation created the "Tesla Technology Farm System" modeled after the well-known and successful system used in professional sports that finds and nurtures talent. Students will then be able to move up the Tesla List by completing projects on their own and through their local PAL Chapter. Students have the ability to highlight their Tesla List ranking in their college and job applications.

"We couldn't be happier to partner with PAL and the wonderful team Vanessa and Will have assembled. The jobs of the future are people and machines working together. The Tesla Foundation/PAL leadership program teaches methods used by the best technology companies in the world to PAL youth. The students will be inspired and motivated to take action and understand that they can be leaders, too. From this seed program we will be able to assist many that would have never been able to find opportunity in technology," related Keith Kaplan, CEO of the Tesla Foundation.

The PAL Program will be grounded in leadership values that have been drawn from institutions such as the US Military, global aid organizations and corporations, and leading Universities. The program has been further-refined to reflect those elements most important to PAL and PAL-served communities.

Said Mr. Donovan, "Whether you're building a company, managing an employee, working for someone, playing a sport, writing code, making music, or anything else, you've got to connect with others and be able to express yourself, even when others disagree with you. This should be a great foundation for these young people in East Cleveland, and with 6,000,000 other youth that we can touch in PAL, there is a huge opportunity to make a positive impact."

###The Tesla Foundation is a not-for-profit science and technology Think Tank focused on the transition from the Industrial Revolution 3.0 to 4.0 and the Architect of the Tesla Technology Farm System. As we navigate the shift from the "Information Age" to the "Autonomous Age," education and workforce development must evolve quickly and with great urgency to meet the demands of the "New Economy." The Tesla Foundation accomplishes its non-profit goals utilizing the combined efforts of its technology farm system, research, education, public private partnerships, applications, and high level educational events and summits. It is the responsibility of those that can shape our future to integrate all technology in a safe and ethical manner for all of humankind.


Keith Kaplan
CEO, Tesla Foundation
866.691.7776 Ext. 007


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