12/16/2011 by Wornel Simpson

Magic Johnson celebrates scholar-athletes, supports reforms for education

Basketball legend and businessman Magic Johnson thrilled a group of young scholar-athletes at the CA Hall of Fame event in Sacramento earlier this month – fist bumping and congratulating the kids from Scholar Athletes Globally Emerging, Inc. - Team SAGE – for their efforts on the court and in the classroom.

“Team SAGE is incredible young people with great minds and great athletic ability. You put both of them together, and you’ve got an incredible person,” Magic said.

“It’s important that we look out for young people, and (Team SAGE) is doing a wonderful job doing just that,” said Magic. “That’s what it’s all about – giving back, reaching back, and helping these young people reach their goals and dreams.”

Those dreams are what California is all about, but government dysfunction has hampered the state’s ability to support kids working hard to achieve – and without a strong education system, we risk allowing kids to fall through the cracks.

Team SAGE - is committed to improving the lives of California’s children by providing physical, educational and intellectual stimulation that helps them excel in school and in the future.

These kids will be our future leaders and innovators – if they get the right shots at education, safe communities, and equitable healthcare. We need state and local governments to be a partner in our efforts to put these kids on a path to success – not a barrier.

California Forward’s Government Performance & Accountability Act (GPAA) can ensure California’s governments work with those committed to improving the state. It stabilizes the state budget, makes local governments more accountable, and encourages local governments and agencies to work together.

Events like the California Hall of Fame give the kids an opportunity to learn about remarkable individuals representing a wide array of fields including the arts, civil rights, literature, sports, entertainment, community activism, business and philanthropy.

In addition to Magic Johnson, Team SAGE scholar-athletes were exposed to the exploits of Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, The Beach Boys, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Father Gregory Boyle, Doris and Donald Fisher, Ed Roberts, Carlos Santana, Amy Tan and the Honorable Roger Traynor.

Learning about and being in the midst of such highly acclaimed individuals reinforces what we teach our kids.  “If it’s to be, it’s up to me, and I will reach beyond expectations!”

Magic Johnson’s supportive, encouraging words given to Team SAGE members on the Red Carpet will be carried by our children for the rest of their lives.  The assistance of organizations  like California Forward enable Team SAGE to continue our vision of building the capacity of prepared, accountable student-athletes who will graduate from four-year accredited universities and will go on to be pillars in the community, as well as role models who will reach back and lift others up through their efforts.

California Forward is helping Team SAGE give our kids opportunity and broad perspective for a better tomorrow. State and local governments should also be on the side of student success. Team SAGE has committed to improving the state, and we want to see our government meet us half-way.

Wornel Simpson is a CA Fwd thinker and founder of Team SAGE

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts

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