The Montclair State University men’s basketball team is set out to support the Hope + Future foundation.
On Wednesday, Feb. 3 the Montclair State University men’s basketball team will be “playing for charity” vs. William Paterson University away in Wayne, N.J. Come out to show your support and donate to the foundation that’s keeping our youth healthy and active in order to strive in their future, hence the name Hope + Future.
The Hope + Future charity was founded by Gian Paul Gonzalez in New Jersey’s very own Union City. Over 10,000 students waiting to find their potential to achieve, he decided it was time for someone to take a stand. In late 2010, Gonzalez, with the help of fellow Union City school teachers, started afterschool workout clubs. These programs allow for students to become involved within their community and help them to not only find their inner wings, but ultimately learn to fly.
The mission of Hope + Future is to provide youth with mechanisms to move forward in a positive direction throughout their lives. This is done by means of participation in extracurricular activities including intramural sports, athletic training, leadership/empowerment events, volunteer trips, study hours, etc. These programs are geared toward providing the students with personal growth physically, mentally and academically.
“Before you can break a barrier physically, you have to be able to break that same barrier mentally; envisioning yourself succeeding, envisioning yourself finishing that last repetition of pushups, envisioning yourself making that game-winning shot,” said Gonzalez “And I see that happening in the academic side, as well, as they begin to pursue excellence. They not only see themselves succeeding physically, but now they can see themselves succeeding in the classroom. They begin to see that hard work translate into success in both areas.”
This charity is made up of three individual programs. Flight Club is one of the programs founded by Gonzalez to achieve Hope + Future for his students. This club is an athletic training program for males provided to help them improve their well-being through workout sessions, healthy snacks and motivational messages. The Girl’s Kickboxing Program is based on the same idea, except it is for females. This program is aimed toward building women’s self-esteem, confidence, and overall wellness through the teaching of physical fitness and self-defense. The final program is the Leadership Academy: Flight Club Middle School Outreach. This program is open to both boys and girls, giving them the opportunity to experience leadership roles as these teens go out and mentor the younger kids in their community and teach them the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
“If it wasn’t for Flight Club, I don’t think I would have as much responsibility, leadership and experience that I have today. It helps me think about my future and what I want to become in life,” said student and member of Flight Club, Tyreke.
“It has given me confidence to try and succeed at lots of other things in my life, so this has been like the gateway to open my eyes to success,” said high school student Rosy.
“These programs help give kids vision for their future that is accessible to them through hard work and perseverance,” said Curriculum Director, Daniel Gurry.
The upcoming basketball game is set to support these organizations and will be donating a portion of the game’s proceeds to Hope + Future. You don’t want to miss out! You can purchase tickets at the doors of the WPU recreation center prior to the start of the game at 8 p.m. For more information on Hope + Future, visit hope-future.us.