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Enriching the Lives of Area Children: ZeroZero Foundation

Education Extra

      

Focused on improving children’s lives across the Birmingham area, the ZeroZero Foundation will provide children with sports-related enrichment and educational opportunities through several key programs and events. Rooted in the Birmingham community, ZeroZero believes every child’s potential extends beyond their athletic ability. The foundation aims to broaden a child’s perspective and identify their passions to help children achieve a career path in sports. The foundation’s mission is to leverage the diverse opportunities of sports to enrich the lives of others: one child, one family, one community at a time. 

Founder Caleb Schmidt started the foundation after seeing three critical areas that the sports industry lack; access, inspiration and aspiration. A typical family with kids who play sports spends about $700 a year on fees, equipment and more, but some families spend up to $35,000 a year. This financial gap does not allow families of lower socioeconomic status to provide the same opportunities as other more financially advantaged families. The sports industry also lacks inspiration; only four percent of children who graduate from high school will receive an athletic scholarship to play sports for their college or university. While many children dream of playing sports at the collegiate level, it is not feasible for all. ZeroZero wants children to know that a career in sports is still possible even without playing at the collegiate level. Finally, of top roles in sports outside of playing professionally, white individuals comprise most of the industry. The ZeroZero Foundation aims to close these gaps in the sports industry because when the score starts at 0-0, the foundation can create equitable opportunities for success. 

“We are thrilled to start making a difference in the lives of countless children in the Birmingham area,” said Schmidt. “As someone who believes in sports and is passionate about the industry, it is time for a change. We need to create equitable opportunities for all children interested in sports and show them that a career in sports is more than just playing professionally.” ZeroZero will focus on three phases; entry, enrich and enhance. Each phase will provide unique opportunities to children from ages 6 to 18 that they would not otherwise have the ability to access. Reggie Torbor, ZeroZero board member, said, “I was fortunate enough to see the power sports had in my life, but not all children had or will have the same opportunities I had. ZeroZero can help bridge the gap and allow more children who are passionate about sports with the opportunity to enter the sports industry other than through their athletic ability.” Learn more at www.zerozerofoundation.org. †

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