In 2008, Athletes for Charity implemented a Summer Internship Program for the students at the High School of Sports Management. The objective of the Internship was to expose the students to various genres of sports and careers in sports by creating opportunities for them to attend sporting events and meet with sports professionals through a series of weekly events. A total of 4 students were selected to participate in this very unique program. The students were also assigned sports related research projects and were evaluated at the end of the program.
During the course of the summer the students the students were afforded an opportunity to participate in the following:
- NFL Films Boot Camp in Mt. Laurel, NJ where they participated in group discussions with current and for NFL players.
- Meeting with staff members of SLAM Magazine to discuss Sports Journalism
- Meeting with various staff members at NFL Headquarters
- Various visits to the Sports Museum of America where they met with athletes such as boxing great Joe Frazier and NY Liberty players Janel McCarville abd Loree Moore
- Meeting with Commission Ken Podziba and other staff members of the New York Sports Commission
- Meeting with an HR Representative at NBA Headquarters
- Various Sporting Events including NY Liberty and NY Red Bulls games.
- Tour of NBC Studios and meeting with NBC Sports staff members
- Meeting with Dr. Lee Igel at NYU Sports Business Program to discuss Sports Education
- Lunch meetings at ESPN Zone with various sports professionals, including 1976 US Olympian Gail Marquis.
- Meeting at of Sports Stars, Inc. to discuss Sports Agency and Marketing Meeting at NIKE, Inc.
- New York Giants Training Camp in Albany, NY
- Meeting with staff members at NASCAR
- Attended Game and Meetings with staff at Staten Island Yankees
A key component to the Internship Program was volunteering. The students were asked to volunteer for various events throughout the summer including Athletes for Charity’s Annual Back to School / Sports Day held at the Sports Museum of America in August.
Below is an essay prepared by one of our Summer Interns:
My Experience as an Intern for Athletes for Charity by James Cooper, Sophomore at the High School of Sports Management
I have had the time of my life while interning at Athletes for Charity with Ms. Laporte. Ms. Laporte has been nothing short of kind and giving to me. This internship has opened so many doors that I thought would never have been open for me. I have met a lot of people and gone on many trips. I just want to thank my high school and Ms. Laporte for presenting this opportunity to me. During the summer I had the chance to meet professional athletes and plenty of people who work in the sports industry. My first visit in the summer was to the NFL offices. This was a great introduction to me to see how the rest of my summer was going to end out. At the meeting I left with excellent advice, and I also was given some gifts to take home from the NFL. But most importantly I left with every ones business cards. From the meeting I met Mr. Dorian Burton who offered to be my mentor. I was very grateful and excited.
Mr. Burton and I have kept in contact and had lunch on several occasions. Another exciting event was when I went to the Baseball All Star Fan Fest at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center. This was a very exciting day. There were so many activities and games. But perhaps the highlight of the day was when I had the opportunity to discuss baseball on MLB.TV with a fellow anchor. I was very nervous at the time but it felt good to get my feet wet and experience how it felt to really be on TV. During the summer I went to many Liberty games including playoff games. I also had the opportunity to visit the Sports Museum of America several times during which in one of those visits I met the legendary Joe Frazier.
I got an autograph and pictures taken with him. Ms. Laporte also made us volunteer during the summer at the Harlem Children’s Zone Track event. We also visited the NBA Office where I was most surprised by the setting of the office and the information handed out. There are numerous jobs in the NBA besides playing basketball which took me by a shock. I had never seen a baseball game in person until this internship. Even though it was a Single A baseball game in Staten Island I still had a blast. I got the chance to sit in the press box and see the game from a different view.
I also had never been to the ESPN ZONE or Dave & Busters of course that all changed due to the internship. There were a lot of first timers for me during this internship. At one of our lunch meetings at the ESPN ZONE, I met a former Olympian Ms. Gail Marquis. This was an honor especially since she played basketball which is my favorite sport. This next event was probably the highlight of my summer – when Ms. Laporte told me that we was going upstate to the NEW YORK GIANTS training camp I was ecstatic. I was going to see the super bowl champions and my favorite team.
I got a chance to meet some of the players such as Michael Jennings who is no longer with the Giants, Amani Toomer, Derrick Ward, Domenik Hixon, Sinorce Moss, Sam Madison, Shaun O’Hara and Madison Hedgecok just to name a few of them. I got numerous autographs, photos and what’s more important a life long memory. I got a chance to ride in the back of the truck with Michael Jennings. I also had lunch with some of the Giants players. I also want to thank Mr. Kareem Edwards for driving us to Albany. After that I thought the summer could not get any better but of course I was proven wrong. I met Ron Artest one of my favorite basketball players at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Harlem. The most interesting meeting of them all was the meeting at Nascar. I really did not know what to expect. during the meeting I had a better understanding of the sport and what it has achieved. Nascar is the second to Football in America. Who would of knew? This is one of the real reasons why my idol is Ms. Laporte.
The Back to School Event is amazing considering that she does most of the work by herself for it. At this event Ms. Laporte gives school to supplies to a countless amount of foster care children. There is also food, games and gifts at this event. To add to the list of celebrities that I met over the summer I also met Terrace Howard the actor/singer at the SONY BGM/ J&R Music Fest. In addition I also had the opportunity to visit ENYCE which is now owned by Sean Combs. At this meeting it was only me I had a chance to sit down and meet with the Vice President of Sales. This meeting was probably my toughest meeting of them all. However I left with advice that I can use in real life situations, I also left with a bag full of clothes worth about 400 dollars. I also spent the day at Coney Island for free which was really cool.
Towards the end of the summer Ms. Laporte gave me my evaluation and had us make a bulletin on our summer and the events that took place. This summer was probably the best summer I have ever had in my life. However it did not stop there. During the school year I had a chance to go shopping with the New York Red Bulls players at Dicks Sporting Goods in New Jersey for free for a hundred dollars. I also met a lot of the members of the New York Red Bulls which is a soccer team. There was also another event that the HSSM took part of. The Wheel Chair Basketball event was exciting. I had a great time there which I didn’t think I would. Blue Man Group was a play on broadway that was very entertaining. In the Fall there were a few events that had to do with the Knicks and the Nets. I attended a basketball clinic.
I met the Knicks coach Mike Dantoni and the President of Basketball operations Donnie Walsh. Nets forward Yi Jilian was also in attendance. After all of the meeting and greeting I finally got the chance to get on the court, where John Starks was. Shooting around with John Starks made me feel like a NBA player. Just recently I went to Knicks game courtesy of Mr. Artie Bayes of the NY Knicks. I had the opportunity to sit court side before the game and watch the players shoot around. While sitting court side I met a couple of basketball legends such as Walt Frazier, and Allan Houston. This summer has truly been a dream come true for me.