Founders Spotlight: Dave Boykin

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. –. In 2017, Dave Boykin sought to do more than fix an unmet need in his community: he decided to change a culture. The White Plains, N.Y. native, along with a small team of associates launched Life Thru Hoops, a 501(c)(3) that serves less fortunate and underprivileged youth overcome circumstances that, before now, were accepted standards in his hometown.

“I decided to launch Life Thru Hoops because my community didn’t offer a place where children could be academically tutored and learn the fundamentals of basketball from qualified professionals” said Boykin. “This type of service is extremely expensive, which automatically disqualifies less fortunate families from affording this opportunity.”

Boykin knows first-hand the impact athletics and academics can have on one’s life. The former student-athlete was the star point guard for White Plains High School boys’ basketball team from 2002-2006. He went on to play at Fordham University, and later transferred to the University of Bridgeport where he won two conference championships and managed to score 1,000 points in two seasons. Following his collegiate career, Boykin played professional basketball for five seasons in Germany, China, Colombia and Brazil.

After returning home, Boykin observed a lack of programs for youth outside of school. Instead of creating an organization that focuses just on athletics, he decided to launch an all-inclusive program that incorporates athletics and academics, along with extracurricular activities to ensure students become well-rounded individuals. “Unlike other after school programs, Life Thru Hoops will offer a more comprehensive structure. My staff and I will work together with school teachers and communicate with them weekly to ensure our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom. We also plan to have tutors on site, each day, who will assist students with their studies. For older participants, we are scheduling SAT prep sessions at our sites. This, along with many other offerings, is what separates our Life Thru Hoops from your typical after school program.”

With any nonprofit organization, funding is a crucial part of its foundation. Recently, Boykin teamed up with Fundletics.com, a platform that creates fundraising resources and strategies for athletics programs. In September 2018, Life Through Hoops launched its first annual campaign, with a goal of raising $40,000 by August, 2019. “We decided to launch this campaign to expand the depth of programs we currently offer,” says Boykin. “Besides offering academic tutoring and athletic skills sessions, our goal is to provide meals for children and employees. With additional funds, we hope to host motivational speakers to empower participants and provide additional activities through educational and recreational field trips. With donor support, we will be able to provide an enriched experience to all of our participants.”

Although Life Thru Hoops is a fairly new organization, that doesn’t stop Boykin from thinking long term. “My long-term goal is to provide programs and resources to families, free of charge.  Providing an equal focus of athletics and academics will permit student-athletes to reach their full potential and achieve an equal playing field, regardless of their economic class. One of our biggest goals will be for kids to receive full-athletic and academic scholarships to colleges. With the help of our loyal supporters and community sponsors, I believe we can get there.”

For more information about Life Thru Hoops, click here. To support the organization, click here

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