National Grid Foundation Sponsors City-Wide Essay Contest

Susan Robinson Fruchtl and God Shammgod at DelSesto Middle School.

June 17, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - On Wednesday June 11, Head Women's Basketball Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl and former men's basketball standout God Shammgod visited DelSesto Middle School in Providence to speak to the students about the importance of education and to award the winners of the 2014 National Grid Foundation Hoops for the Stars Essay Contest.

Through the essay contest, elementary and middle school students in Providence were challenged to write an essay on how they will incorporate hard work in the classroom and the community to achieve their dreams. Hundreds of essays were submitted and reviewed by members of the Providence school system and the Providence College athletic department.

This year, two winners were selected and were presented with a certificate and awards from Coach Robinson Fruchtl and Shammgod.

2014 marks the sixth consecutive year that Providence College and the National Grid Foundation have teamed up to sponsor the Hoops for the Stars Program in Providence elementary and middle schools. Through a generous grant from the National Grid Foundation, 5,500 tickets to Providence College men's and women's basketball games were provided to students who exhibited leadership and a commitment to excellence in the classroom. Students were also rewarded with t-shirts that they could wear proudly for their efforts.

"Walking into DelSesto Middle School, I noticed a quote on the side of their building that reads 'helping to better the lives of others is the greatest achievement.' That resonated with me because it is clear that the mission of the National Grid Foundation and the mission of our Providence schools are one and the same. With the support of the National Grid Foundation and the Hoops for the Stars Program, teachers and students are inspired to better their own lives and those of others." said Head Women's Basketball Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl.

After leading Providence College to the Elite 8 in 1997, God Shammgod declared for the NBA and continued a professional career for more than 15 years. Shammgod is now back at PC to finish his degree and he spoke to the students at DelSesto about his upbringing in New York City and how it is never too late to pursue an education. "I grew up with many of the same issues as you," said Shammgod to the students, "I am back at PC now taking advantage of an opportunity to get a world-class education. Wherever you are in your studies whether you are an A student or you are at the bottom of your class, it is never too late to change your direction and get on the path to success."

The Hoops for the Stars Program continues to draw praise from the teachers and administrators in Providence as well. "The Hoops for the Stars program is deeply appreciated by our students and faculty. We are especially proud that two of our own were winners of the essay contest. Given our students' attentiveness, it was obvious that the words of Coach Robinson Fruchtl and Mr. Shammgod hit home. It means so much to our faculty and administrators when students can be shown a meaningful connection between academic achievement and success in sports. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!", said DelSesto Assistant Principal, Richard Bensusan.

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