RYE, N.Y. -- A not-for-profit based in Rye is helping student athletes get the support they need.
Steer for Student Athletes is hosting its third annual spring graduation banquet at Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester from May 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Steer provides funding and support services to help underprivileged athletes. The organization uses "Steer Advisors" who are responsible for tracking their needs to allow them to achieve success, from college prep to helping them with the SATs.
Port Chester High School and Palisades Preparatory School are two of the schools Steer for Student Athletes assists.
"We helped one student buy a bike since it was his only method of transportation," Jordan Eck, manager of administration, marketing, and community relations, said. "We aim to even the playing field.
The gala will commemorate the graduates of the program, which include three student-athletes who will be attended four-year colleges next year.
"Our ultimate goal is high school graduation and college enrollment," Eck said. "We use sports as a vehicle. All of our students are athletes, but their skill level has no determination in whether we assist them. Some of our graduates go on to play Division 1 or Division 2, some of them don't play a sport and study engineering."
Steer for Student Athletes has assisted 51 students with six students set to graduate. Eck said being able to keep these kids means everything to him.
"This is our job but it doesn't really feel like you're coming to work to work," Eck said. "It's really just about helping these kids and giving them an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Steer for Student Athletes was started in August 2012 by Michael Eck, Kevin O’Callaghan and Joe Durney. They based their model on the simple principle, “pay it forward.” Sports played a big role in each of their lives and they had the passion for helping others.
The gala will also introduce Steer's new partnership with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, a national non-profit organization using sport to improve the health, education, employment and social cohesion of disadvantaged youth.
For more information on Steer, visit www.SteerForStudentAthletes.org or call 917-693-8745.