National Grid Foundation and Providence College Athletics Visit Nathanael Greene Middle School

June 11, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - On June 7, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jim Crowley joined Deborah Drew, Director of Philanthropic Development at the National Grid Foundation, to recognize the winner of the annual Hoops for the Stars Essay Contest.

Over the last 10 years, the National Grid Foundation has donated more than $270,000 to promote academic success in Providence city schools.  Through this partnership with Providence College athletics, students are awarded tickets to Friar men’s and women’s basketball games as an incentive for academic success and hard work in their community.

The program culminates every year with a city-wide essay contest where students are tasked with writing about a person in their life who models the ideals promoted through the Hoops for the Stars Program.  This year’s winner was Jeremy Herrera, a fourth grade student from Nathanael Greene Middle School.  More than 300 students attended the assembly to honor Herrera and listen to the message from Coach Cooley and Coach Crowley.

A graduate of Providence public schools, Cooley delivered a message that all of the students could relate to.  “When I look around this room, I see myself in a lot of the faces here.  I’ve sat where they’ve sat and I see the potential in every student.  What the National Grid Foundation does to help these students recognize their potential is incredible,” said Cooley.

Coach Crowley spoke about the importance of resilience and the ability to remain focused through adversity.  “Your academic path doesn’t have to be perfect.  There will undoubtedly be bumps in the road but the important thing is how you respond to them.  Ultimately, that will determine your future,” said Crowley.

"Speaking with the students after the presentation, they seemed both surprised and encouraged that both coaches had grown up in circumstances similar to their own," said Trish Logan Hillery, a current teacher at Nathanael Greene, a PC graduate and cross country student-athlete from the class of 1989.   "The message that developing inner resilience and working hard in school is the key to success, seems to have genuinely hit home.  The sentiment of planning for the future today is one I heard in English class directly after the presentation. Again, thanks a million for everything.”

Providence College would like to especially thank National Grid Foundation Executive Director, Ed White, and Executive Director of Providence Secondary Schools, Marc Catone for their continued generosity and leadership of this flagship program that has become a cornerstone in the Providence school system.



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