Thursday, July 31, 2008

TeamPlay makes mentoring easy

By Kevin L. Nichols

Although Baron Davis’ job is moving to Los Angeles, his philanthropy is staying right here in the Bay Area.

Last Wednesday, TeamPlay Foundation, co-founded by Davis, hosted its annual fundraiser at the W Hotel in San Francisco.

“More than 175 people came out to learn about us, and the feedback was tremendous,” said TeamPlay co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Gunnar Counselman. “We raised $55,000 and, more importantly, got dozens of people offering their services both in a professional capacity and as mentors.”

TeamPlay’s mission is to support inner-city students in developing “real dreams” and taking advantage of their educational opportunities to build the knowledge, skills, attitude and network necessary to reach those goals.

Since youth and potential mentors are increasingly utilizing social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to keep in contact and network, TeamPlay has developed a “goal-oriented social networking site” that provides a team of mentors for each student.

The mentors offer their talents, work experience and professional networking assistance in order to become valuable members of a team of mentors, as opposed to the typical “one on one” mentoring relationship.

This reduces many of the barriers mentors face of not wanting the pressure of making a full-time commitment to one student. Similarly, students have the power to choose who they want on their “team” to help lead them toward their chosen career path.

With a unique operating team that includes Davis, Counselman and former Dallas Cowboy Anthony Jones, and a rich advisory board including Joe Marshall of the Omega Boys Club, as well as professors, lawyers and other professionals, TeamPlay has a powerful foundation in place. The organization is currently looking for assistance with identifying mentors, sponsorship, fundraising and more.

For more information on how you can get involved, contact Gunnar Counselman at (415) 567-0769 or gunnar@teamplayfoundation .org, or visit www.teamplayfoundation.org.

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and the president/CEO of KLN Publishing, located in San Francisco. For more information, visit http://klnpublishingllc.blogspot.com.


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