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Organizations Making a Difference

The Van Duzer Foundation

Fort Pierce, Florida

 

Lifetime Award Honoree F. Gary Gray, recognized by Better Youth for Gray’s  mentoring and support of youth interested in media arts

PVSA Coty Sensabaugh of the Pittsburgh Steelers honored by the Van Duzer Foundation for his mentoring
through the foundation, as well as service with Soles4Souls and Food for the Hungry

Through the Van Duzer Foundation's First Step program, NFL players bridge the divide between local officials and opportunity youth, bringing them together for casual pick-up games, mentoring, and small group discussions on community issues. The program began in Fort Pierce, Florida, with the support and involvement of Miami Dolphins Safety Michael Thomas and other players, who are working to expand First Step to new NFL team cities and their hometowns across the country. 

Founded by Scott Van Duzer, the foundation was created to help families experiencing hardship due to unforeseen tragedy and illness, and grew its reach through mentoring initiatives, such as Boy Scouts and its First Step program. The foundation's community leadership and innovative programming, which makes role models accessible and relatable to youth, has reduced crime and fostered community, and Scott and his volunteers are working to share their program model nationwide.

Read more about the NFL players at the heart of First Step, all of whom have been recognized with a President's Volunteer Service Award, by clicking on the photos below. 

Coty Sensabaugh  Jared Cook  Jonathan Meeks

Michael Thomas  Sam Barrington

 
 
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