This op-ed was written by Jordan Morgan for The Detroit News. Read the original story here.
The bulk of my upbringing was spent in the greater Detroit area, helping shape my view of the world. The concepts of diligence and persistence were engrained in me from an early age. I still remember practices with the Detroit Roadrunners AAU team. For years I have contemplated a way to combine my platforms, resources, and experiences into a vehicle for change in the communities that helped to shape me. The people and experiences that I encountered in the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan have had a profound influence on the man I have become and hope to be. The result is the Jordan Morgan Foundation (JMF). The weeknights I spent after school at Miller Middle School on the east side not only infused me with a deep passion for basketball, but also helped me understand the role of consistent practice in long-term achievement. As a teenager, I studied for six years as a University of Detroit Jesuit Cub. Everyday I saw the words “Men for Others” posted on the school walls, while teachers and staff did their best to ensure we knew just what it meant. Trust me when I say there were times when my teachers had their work cut out for them with me. To this day I am not sure that I fully grasp the magnitude of what it truly means to be a “man for others.” Every day, however, I try to live my life a little more selflessly. It was through my experiences as a Michigan basketball player that I came to know my purpose. The University of Michigan is such a special place. The university pushed me to follow the examples set by my coaches, professors and peers. I learned to strive to excel in multiple areas of my life, both on and off the court. I believe no level of success in life is complete if we do not use it to add real value to the communities we live in. For me, the first logical step in this pursuit is the Jordan Morgan Foundation. Overall, I hope to use this nonprofit organization to create generational change by instilling confidence in young people and developing their skills sets in education, outreach, and sport. To spark inner-city generational change, the primary focus of the JMF is the children of Metro Detroit and the state of Michigan. It is impossible to improve the generational welfare of a community without first focusing on education. We want to focus on educating our future leaders and providing learning opportunities in every outreach and sporting event. JMF’s outreach will be centered on engagement and encouragement, establishing a positive presence. Our hope is that through events and collaboration we can be a unifying presence wherever we go. Being such a useful tool for me in my life, sport is naturally also a focal point for JMF. There are few things in this world that control the hearts and minds of the people as sport does. By investing time and resources into these community initiatives, we hope to provide uplifting experiences for kids while also teaching important life lessons, like those of discipline, perseverance and teamwork. The plan is to begin with our first summer basketball camp this summer. Jordan Morgan, a former University of Michigan basketball captain, now lives in Rome and plays for Acea Virtus Roma Basketball Club in Serie A Italian league. He is founder of the Jordan Morgan Foundation. How people can help The Jordan Morgan Foundation is seeking donations to run a summer 2015 basketball camp. To learn more or make a contribution, go to jordanmorganfoundation.com/donate, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Jordan Morgan Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.