Princeton-based Community Options and Hopeworks Camden were announced as grant recipients from the NBA Foundation. The national nonprofits will collaborate with the foundation to increase minority youth access to workforce inclusion, and competitive and integrated employment. Each nonprofit was awarded $500,000 as part of a $20 million round, with a total of 40 nonprofits nationwide receiving funds.
With a focus on education, technology and entrepreneurship, Hopeworks provides a positive, healing atmosphere that propels young people to build strong futures and break the cycle of violence and poverty. Hopeworks connects youth to life-changing opportunities where their growing technology skills are utilized for enterprising businesses within the community.
Community Options’ mission is to develop housing and employment supports for people with disabilities, specifically Black youth ages 14-24 with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Community Options said it will develop a national employment program focusing on youth in seven NBA markets, including those of the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz. The nonprofit will also identify youth interested in employment and provide job exploration, soft skills training and on-the-job training.
“We are proud to support Community Options in their endeavors to increase access to support and job preparation for Black youth with disabilities,” NBA Foundation Executive Director Greg Taylor said in a statement. “Community Options’ longstanding dedication to empowering individuals with disabilities has already provided many the resources to choose how they live and work within their communities, and we look forward to the impact this new expansion of their services will have on young people in NBA markets.”
Launched in 2020, the NBA Foundation is focused on creating greater economic opportunity and career advancement in the Black community. Its board of directors is comprised of eight representatives:
- Governors: Michael Jordan, Gayle Benson, Tony Ressler and Larry Tanenbaum;
- Players: Harrison Barnes and Tobias Harris;
- NBA and NBPA: Commissioner Adam Silver and Executive Director Michele Roberts.