Philadelphia Youth Basketball (PYB) Board Member and Fund Development Committee member, Craig Scott, is one of PYB’s most passionate and dynamic leaders. Craig has an intense love for the game and an unyielding belief in the power of PYB to positively impact the lives of the young people in Philadelphia for generations.
Craig’s involvement with PYB started after he received a phone call from his former high school coach, David Felsen. David had created a precursor program to PYB’s programming called the GFS Reading/ Basketball Clinic. This clinic brought kids together from around Philadelphia (mainly the Germantown neighborhood) to teach them the game and give them a safe place to convene with great coaches, mentors, and friends. Additionally each clinic featured a hot meal and time in the GFS library where participants completed reading assignments. David knew PYB’s President and CEO, Kenny Holdsman, from playing in pickup games at Germantown Friends School and introduced Craig to Kenny knowing they both shared a love for the game and a deep appreciation of the values people learn from playing sports.
Over his past two years as a PYB Board Member, Craig has seen and been an integral part of a lot of change within the organization, both programmatically and developmentally. “I believe the positive impact our programs are having on our city’s young people is evident. From our two core programs, the Middle School Partnership Program and Collegiate Summer Camp Series, to our emerging programs including the HoopHers Girls Empowerment Work and the recent International Youth Leadership Trip, we have undoubtedly served a critical mass of young people throughout our region and abroad. Throughout my time with PYB, I have had the opportunity to visit a fair amount of the programs to observe the young people in action and speak with their families. These interactions validated my belief in PYB’s mission-driven approach and presented clear evidence that we are helping our young people grow as students, athletes and positive leaders.”
Everyone involved with PYB is grateful and motivated by the tremendous strides the organization has made in a relatively short amount of time. As Craig explains, “We know what we are doing, we have deep roots, and we are on a path to touch more and more kids all the time.”
Additionally, PYB is a unique and somewhat unconventional position for a start-up non profit organization as we work to deliver impactful programming in the community while simultaneously devoting our time and energy to developing a state of the art basketball based youth development center in the Logan section of North Philadelphia, which will serve as “a beacon in a neighborhood that has needed it for almost a half of a century.”
PYB’s short term programmatic needs coupled with our high aspiration for a center requires an ambitious and calculated community movement to help us reach our goals. “When we think about grassroots community involvement PYB is off and running. We have successful programs with a lot of buy in and support from our kids and their families. From the tree-tops we need to generate high awareness and build a whole network of evangelists. If we do it right, PYB can cultivate an incredibly diverse group of supporters and revitalize sport that makes Philadelphia great! Mayor Jim Kenney and other public officials have given us the keys, the Goldenberg Group has given us the “Field of Dreams” in Logan Triangle, Foundation and Individuals have given us financial and strategic support, our kids have given us motivation and now we must continue to use this momentum to bring it all back to the city and game we love.”
Anyone interested in joining the PYB movement and helping us mobilize all stakeholders in our city please reach out! You can visit our website, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Scott at email@example.com.
Written by MaryKate O’Brien, Community Mobilization Coordinator.