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2012 Jeter's Leaders Social Change Project
HandsOn Greater DC Cares
July 22-28, 2012

 Watch: Trip highlights
 Photo galleries: 1 | 2


The New York and Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., for their biannual service project July 22-28, 2012. During their time in Washington, the Jeter's Leaders were determined to leave a lasting impression on the community and aim to take the ideals and fundamentals of the nation's capital back home with them.

The trip began with a visit to Capitol Hill, where the Jeter's Leaders learned about the rich history of America's struggle to form a democratic government that represents such a diverse nation. They toured the halls of Congress and learned about Statuary Hall, the Rotunda and Crypt.

College preparation is a major component of the leadership program. The Jeter's Leaders visited Howard University, a federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, Historically Black University. They also visited the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where they learned about the evolution of the Navy and its impact on the history of the United States.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hosted the Leaders to share its latest research findings on the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism and alcohol problems among teens. The students participated in the interactive Drunken Brain exhibit, exploring specimens from the world's largest brain collection and taking part in hands-on activities in NIAAA laboratories. They also toured the NIH Clinical Research Center and had a question-and-answer session with scientists about alcohol and adolescence. The Leaders chatted with a bilingual researcher about the importance of getting minorities involved in health research, both as investigators and as volunteers in clinical studies. The Jeter's Leaders have been making annual site visits to NIAAA since 2002.

"It is extremely important that our Jeter's Leaders are properly educated about the negative impact of alcohol abuse and alcoholism," said Turn 2 Foundation founder Derek Jeter. Jeter added, "The NIAAA and Turn 2 Foundation collaboration offers our Leaders the opportunity to learn about the unhealthy effects of alcohol and strategies to educate their peers and younger students."

Another major initiative of the Jeter's Leaders program is community service and social activism. In collaboration with HandsOn Greater DC Cares, the Leaders lent their time and services to The Arts and Technology Academy, a public charter school in Washington's seventh ward. Over two days, the Leaders helped to beautify the school's garden, provide mentoring services to the student population, assist in clerical work and provide necessary building support.

Following the project's completion, the Jeter's Leaders were recognized by the Dean of Students and staff from The Arts and Technology Academy and HandsOn Greater DC staff during a closing ceremony in the auditorium. Turn 2 Foundation president Sharlee Jeter presented the school with a $10,000 donation on behalf of Derek and the Jeter's Leaders.

On their last day in Washington, the Jeter's Leaders went to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to hear from a panel of President Obama's key staff members. They presented Michael Strautmanis, Deputy Assistant to the President, with a signed Jeter's Leaders jersey for President Obama. Strautmanis shared professional guidance with the group and urged the high school students to continue to work hard in school and in their communities. Kyle Lierman from the Office of Public Engagement spoke to the Leaders about his job as White House liaison to the sports community and Ronnie Cho, associate director of the Office of Public Engagement talked about his role as White House Liaison to Young Americans. The discussion offered the Jeter's Leaders an opportunity to gain insight into a variety of careers that are directly related to their social change efforts. Following a discussion with the president's staff, the Leaders were escorted to the White House to explore the legendary residence that has hosted dignitaries, diplomats and world leaders.

The Jeter's Leaders visited the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) on Friday afternoon. They were welcomed with an inspirational address by director of the museum, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole. The NMAfA fosters the discovery and appreciation of the visual arts of Africa and humanity. The museum's collection of more than 10,000 objects represents nearly every area of the continent of Africa and contains a variety of media and art forms.

To cap off the week, Charles C. Stephenson Jr., co-author of "The Beat: Go-Go's Fusion of Funk and Hip Hop", was invited give a brief introduction to go-go, a genre of music that originated in Washington and blends the styles of funk, R&B and hip-hop to create a unique and distinct sound. Following Mr. Stephenson's remarks, the popular female go-go band Be'la Dona took the stage providing an exciting night of live entertainment as the Leaders had a chance to unwind, enjoy some ice cream and even show off their dance moves!

Visit our blog to read more about the trip.


2010 Jeter's Leaders Social Change Project
HandsOn New Orleans
July 25-31, 2010

  Photo gallery


Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation, with the support of Delta Air Lines, brought 70 Jeter's Leaders from New York City and Kalamazoo, Mich., to participate in a community-service project in New Orleans. The Leaders worked with a local organization, HandsOn New Orleans, to rebuild areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. They participated in an extensive, three-day service project at two community facilities in need of assistance.

During the first project day, the Jeter's Leaders worked outside to till soil, construct and install garden fixtures, plant flowers and shrubs, and build chess tables and chairs for the garden area at Pontchartrain Park Community Center. This effort helped to beautify the property and aimed to motivate the center's members to participate in the activities. Throughout the next two days, they worked at the NFL Youth Education Town Center at the local Boys & Girls Club and visited with youth that had been affected by the harsh conditions. The Leaders rehabilitated a baseball field by clearing the overgrown area and base paths. Inside the center, the Leaders painted a mural with motivational words to inspire youth to achieve their dreams. Picnic tables, trash vestibules, flower beds, chess tables and benches were also built and set up outside of the center.

Over the course of the week, the high school students from New York City and Kalamazoo learned about the city of New Orleans through tours and local activities. They explored the city's ambiance and met local youth leadership groups to strengthen their mission of promoting positive social change among their peers.

The Jeter's Leaders program was designed to promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement, leadership development and social change activism among high school students. Jeter's Leaders serve as ambassadors for Derek Jeter in their communities and beyond. An important way the Jeter's Leaders exhibit leadership and accomplish social change is through their biannual summer Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference. In summer 2011, the Leaders from New York City and Kalamazoo will host the conference attended by other youth leadership programs throughout the United States. The Jeter's Leaders create workshops based on topics they feel are affecting teens today.

Derek started the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996, his rookie year. Turn 2 has awarded more than $11 million in grants to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Through these ventures, the Foundation strives to create outlets for children to achieve academic excellence, develop leadership skills and remain drug and alcohol free. These programs all share the same goal of helping today's youth become the leaders of tomorrow.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and later, Hurricanes Rita and Gustav, HandsOn New Orleans made a major commitment to support the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast through volunteer action. Since 2005, the organization has mobilized more than 17,200 volunteers in the effort to rebuild areas that were severely destructed by the storms. Five years after the tragedy, there is still a need for aid in New Orleans.