It brings me so much joy to share that Empower ME Academy (EMA) has reached the significant milestone of ten years! As someone deeply committed to empowering others, I am grateful to be able to inspire the next generation of leaders every day.
My journey began long before 2013 when I was a child in the Virgin Islands with a strong desire to motivate and inspire others.
Despite facing challenges, I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful mentor, CB, who introduced me to basketball and a mother who instilled in me a deep love for humanity. These two role models helped me overcome obstacles and set me on a path to self-improvement.
Establishing Empower Me Training (now EMA) was a pivotal moment. It enabled me to address the gaps I observed in the youth sports industry and create a positive impact on society. We began our first classes at the University of San Francisco with limited resources.
Still, our determination and faith in every child we coached allowed us to overcome obstacles.
As we celebrate ten years of EMA, I am thrilled to share some of our milestones with you. It has been an incredible journey of growth, hard work, and inspiring stories, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
2013: EMA was founded with free clinics at USF
2015: First all-girls free clinic
2016: Surpassed 100 active students, First Thunder and Lightning clinics, Logo refresh
2017: EMA secured status as a 501c3 social enterprise
2020: Fort Mason partnership during COVID
2021: Palace of Fine Arts & NPU partnership, First Annual Basketball-A-Thon and Community Impact Leader Award
2022: First MLK clinic
2023: DCYF Summer Together Partnership Summer Clinics, SFUSD/Roosevelt Coaching during Lunch Recess Program April, Hermes Awards Honorable Mention for ABC Localish special on 2022 Basketball-A-Thon, Logo Refresh, First Annual EMA Empower Fest (formally known as Basketball-A-Thon)
Over the past decade, EMA has grown and expanded its reach through new locations, partnerships, logos, and social media channels.
With the help of top talent, including our diverse and inclusive board, we have professionalized our operations. We have utilized over 18 facilities to achieve our mission, no matter the obstacle.
We are proud to have awarded over $500,000 in tuition assistance to over 100 students, thanks to the generosity of our donors.
Our commitment to uplifting all students and being driven by their needs, not profit, is unwavering. Our leadership team is diverse, with 50% people of color, 30% from public schools, with 65% of all SF zip codes represented.
As our alums enter the world, they have confidence, resilience, and leadership skills developed at EMA. Their personal growth and success are a testament to the transformative power of our methodology.
We invite you to read our previous blog posts to learn more about their journey.
We are proud to share that we have achieved great strides in pursuing our goals.
Our successful annual event, The Basketball-A-Thon, has been a significant milestone. This event empowers the entire Bay Area community by bringing together the excitement of March Madness and NBA All-Star Weekend.
We are delighted to have been featured in ABC7 News Localish for our 2022 Basketball-A-Thon, which has helped us gain nationwide recognition for our mission of teaching leadership skills through sports.
As we aim to continue this positive momentum, we are excited to announce that we will host the 2023 EMA Empower Fest (formally known as the Basketball-A-Thon); an electrifying tournament complete with 3v3, dunk contests, 3-point contests, skills challenges, food, music, and endless fun.
We will also organize summer clinics for those who need more basketball during the off-season.
GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT DECADE
Shifting culture is challenging, but EMA is committed to achieving this goal. We work tirelessly behind the scenes with our community to make it a reality.
Acknowledging those who have supported EMA’s growth as we reflect on progress is essential. A heartfelt thank you to those who have been with us on this journey and share the belief that sports is the best platform to develop our next generation of leaders.
EMA eagerly looks forward to the new challenges and accomplishments that the future holds!