Former Basketball Star Gives Back to Children At Russell Center
By DAVID L. DILLARD
Chronicle Staff Writer
Ke vin Sturdtvant says black
youths get in trouble because the>
don't have enough outlets to burn
off their energy, j
Sturdivant. a senior at Carver
High School, was no exception
until he discovered the Carl H. Rus
. sell Community Recreation Center.
"I used to get in trouble a lot.
? but coming here gives me some
thing to do," he said. "1 see them
tutoring my friends and they really
helped' me out."
The "they" he refers to is Louis
Lowery and the
staff. Lowery. 34.
started working for
the -city's, recre
in 1 ^S2 after ?
receiving a mar
keting degree from
Johnson C. Smith
prowess, as a point guard at Carver
High School, and later East Forsyth
High earned him a basketball schol
j .. ? ;
"The recreation center is really needed and I
felt like it was a good place for me to be. "
? Louis Lower y
arship and a responsibility, he feels,
to steer black youths in the right
ation center is
and 1 felt like it
was a good place
for me to be,"
Lowery said. "1
try to be a posi
tive influence in
their live* and
that kind of work
is more fulfillinc
than going out into the business
Lowers spends a lot of time
tutoring and teaching basketball and
tennis,, but he does gel to use his
degree by programming and mar
keting games, tournaments and
The Carl H. Russell Recreation
Center, located at 3521 Carver
School Road, offers sports and other
recreational games, dance classes,
sewing, ceramics and serves as a
meeting place for area clubs and
Lowers sa>s the Renter is popu
lar because kids pa> ver> little fees
or. usually, none at all. He credits
/taff members A1 Jones and Monica
Johnson for showing interest in the'
personal development of the youths
and introducing them to "non-tradi
tiynal" activities such as tennis and
"We're professional in every
phase of what we do. so they're get
ting the best.'' said Jones. "1 feel like
once they leave here, they can go
anywhere and be successful."
- . ? , , ? . . . : . ' - . . . - - ... '* ' ; -4
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Need Black Male Volunteers
By VERONICA CLEMONS
. Chronicle Staff Writer
Big Brothers and Big Sisters
" always needs volunteers, said Ben
Grisard, the agency's executive
director, and the need is still, greatest
for African Americans ? especially
At the end of February. 189
? matches had been made. Grisard
said. Fifty-five African-American
children were matched with volun
teers of the same race and 89 white
volunteers were matched with an
v African- American child. .
"A black male could wait as#
long as a year for a match.'' he said. !
"A white male would not have to
wait quite as long and white females
are almost immediatelv matched."
Arthur Hardin, who served on
the board of directors before becom
ing a volunteer, said because of the
number of single-family homes and
other circumstances, such as death
of a father, more African-American
boys need a positive male role
model. African-American males
becoming involved as a Big Brother
can show these young men a more
positive side to life, he said.
(Irisard is hoping to get more
~~ African- American volunteers
^through the agency's Recruitm?nr
Challenge. About 16 people are
competing against one another, try
ing to gel the largest number of new
volunteers for the organization. The
I goal for The number of new volun
teers is 40. The Recruitment Chaf
Jenge will end May 31 during an
annual picnic the organization
sponsors every year for volunteers
and their little brothers and sisters.
Volunteers are chosen through
a general process that includes an
orientation, interviews and a visit to
the home. Volunteers must be at
least 20 years old or a sophomore in
college. Once a potential volunteer
takes the first' step ? going to the
organization's site to fill out an
application ? the process begins.
The current list of volunteers is
very diverse. Grisard said. The typi
cal volunteer is a single person
under the age of. 25, but there are
also volunteers who are married..
This is a plus fot many of the chil
.dren involved in the program
because they come from single-par
ent homes. The big brother or sister
usually includes their "little" with
regular family activities.
Hardin has be^n a big brother to
Jay for about a year, and said it has
t been a very pleasant experience.
Hardin said he and Jay h^ve
similar interest so that makes the
activities fun for both of them.
I "The agency tries to match peo
ple of j similar interest and just
encourage you to include them in
your lifestyle," Hardin said.
Grisard said the organization
has been trying, without much suc
cess, to get more volunteers from
the religious community. Bulletins
are sent out, he said, but usually the
organization gets no response.
, "Everyone "is hitting - the
churches because that's where the
people are." Grisard said.
A lot of people "don t volunteer_
because they think it wiH take up a
lot of th^ir time, Grisard said. But,
most of the volunteers work full
time jobs and are often volunteers in
other organizations. Also.- while the
program is a commitment, volun
teers are only required to see their
"littles" once a week for about three
to five hours. The program tries to
operate so that being a volunteer is
as convenient as possible.
"Sometimes it's nothing more
than just spending time together,"
Hardin said. "Just involve them in
your life and get involved in theirs.!'
First session: May 31 - July 2
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