Shaq Surprises Club Teens

Support our goal of identifying 100,000 Alumni & Friends by the end of 2018, so check out the Yearbook and sign today!

Shaq Surprises Club Teens
Posted 11/14/2018 by Kamelah Muhammad in Alumni

Imagine trying to sneak 7’ 1” Shaquille O’Neal into a Boys & Girls Club to surprise Club kids and alumni. The NBA great and Club alum dropped in on the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta – Fuqua Unit to inspire them to reach for their goals, and how being a Club alum has played an important role in his life. Oh, and he signed a “Shaq-sized” Alumni & Friends yearbook too!

Thanks to support from Keurig Dr Pepper, Alumni & Friends launched in 2018 a digital yearbook to identify and engage Club alumni and friends around the world. Alumni and supporters who signed the yearbook were entered in a raffle for a chance to award $10,000 to the Club of their choice and a special meet and greet with Shaq. Lucky winner and Boys & Girls Club alum Sarah Hernandez of Vernon, Texas, gifted the $10,000 to her hometown Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Vernon.

Shaq and Sarah

A lifelong resident of Vernon, Sarah is forever grateful for the experience she gained from participating in nearly every program at the Club – from leadership and community service, to sports. She went on to receive her undergraduate degree in Applied Arts & Sciences from Midwestern State University and her a graduate degree in counseling from Midwestern State University. Since 2015, Sarah has served as Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Vernon.

Over their 2-hour visit to the Club, Shaq and Sarah participated in a Facebook Live Q&A and spoke with youth about the benefits of staying connected as Club alumni.

The Club was blown away when Shaq announced he would repaint the Club gymnasium and provide the kids with a holiday celebration in December. Shaq also signed a jumbo-sized yearbook featuring childhood photos of himself and other Club alumni including Boys & Girls Clubs National Spokesperson Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez.

Shaq signing the Yearbook

There are an estimated 16 million past Club members who come from all walks of life but share a common bond in their Club Experience and passion for the difference Boys & Girls Clubs make in the lives of so many kids. Alumni & Friends is on a mission to build a global community that is committed to staying connected, engaging alumni and supporters, and giving back to Boys & Girls Clubs and the next generation of Club kids.

Through their support of Alumni & Friends, Keurig Dr Pepper helped launch the Stay Connected campaign to engage and support young alumni. Since 2015, Alumni & Friends have identified and engaged over 90,000 alumni and supporters.

By signing the Yearbook, you are supporting our goal of identifying 100,000 by the end of 2018.

Kamelah is Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


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