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A Co-Founder's Vision by Cliff Parks Scholar-Baller Image As a high school counselor, I spend countless hours speaking to athletes about the importance of college. However, my words tend to fall on deaf ears because many of these individuals perceive playing for professional sports teams as one of the few viable paths to upward mobility, School is rarely an option as most of the students I converse with are victims of the external environment. They either fall prey to the streets or solely emphasize athletics. What they tend to forget is that athletes and academics work together. Stigmatizing mass media messages reinforce a "dumb minority jock image" and perpetuate prevalent accepted norms relating to the institutional notion of black intellectual inferiority. It is difficult working with students that have this myth embedded in their minds, and unrealistically dream of someday playing professional sports. For this reason Scholar Baller IMAGE (Intellectual Messages in Athletics that Garner Excellence) curriculum intervention program has been introduced. The Scholar-Baller IMAGE curriculum has been designed as a resource tool for high school administrators, athletic directors, and coaches. The program targets inner-city youth and athletes abroad in a challenging manner that gives "scholar-ballers" the ability to create powerful visions for the future by fusing academics with athletics. The curriculum focuses on topics such as: Who Am I? Goal Setting/Vision, Academic Success ("Scholar-Baller") and Race Relations. The goal of Scholar-Baller IMAGE is to produce scholar athletes that have the ability to become productive citizens in society. It is my hope that this curriculum will challenge innercity student athletes to place a higher emphasis on academics and use athletics as the vehicle to prepare them for life. Lastly, this curriculum will Give Athletes a Mentality of Excellence. It's GAME time!

A Co-Founders Vision Cliff Parks  

Cliff Parks