Monday, December 22, 2014

The Greg Jennings Foundation

A community where all educational needs for youth are met.

The Greg Jennings Foundation strives to partner with and assist other organizations in educating youth by providing the necessary resources in order for them to reach their academic potential. 

Empowering youth for improved educational awareness.



Educational Achievement




Monday, December 15, 2014

Business owner to help homeless

DES MOINES, Iowa —Years ago, Derrick Walton was homeless and had no help. Today he is the owner of Chef D’s Rock Power Pizza and he is making sure he serves up food and goodwill.

Walton made a promise to himself and just weeks after he opened his restaurant, he made sure he kept that promise; food at no charge for those in need;

“This week it’s baked chicken, rice, vegetable, a salad and bottled water,” said Walton.  “The name on the restaurant may say Rock Power Pizza, but on Monday nights, the menu changes to a full, home-cooked meal."

Raised in Detroit, Walton has seen tough times.  But after living in Des Moines for a dozen years, he decided to help others, who are still seeing tough times.  ”I've been doing this for so many years, it's just a passion,” said Walton.

He closes his restaurant on Monday nights and invites homeless and needy families to stop buy, and eat for free.

Volunteer Carrie Knudsen and her son stopped by to help.  It takes a lot of work to prepare a few dozen meals.   Another young volunteer is doing his best at becoming a waiter.

So far customers are hearing about Rock Power pizza through the grapevine.  Helen Christner stopped by Monday night for the first time, and found much more than pizza.  “I said wonderful, we're going to get a meal,” Cristner said.

Walton wants to spread the word.  His kitchen and his heart are open for anyone who needs help.  “I want them to know, you always have a place to come and eat."

Rock Power Pizza is open from 5 to 8 Monday nights to feed the homeless.

Walton says he accepts donations, which anyone can send to or drop off at the restaurant.   Otherwise it's money out of his own pocket.  But he loves doing it.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Multi-Talented High School Student Offered Hundreds Of College Scholarships

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Chad Thomas, a senior at Booker T. Washington, is a teen with many talents. So many talents, that he has received hundreds of college scholarship offers.

Thomas, 18, has received 150 scholarships for his skills on the football field, but also for his exceptional musical abilities—playing a total of nine instruments.

Of the football and music scholarships offered, Thomas has chosen to attend the University of Miami and will play football as a Hurricane, and also practice his musical talents at the University’s Frost School of Music.

Thomas helped lead the Booker T. Tornadoes to back-to-back state championships and win a national title this season. But it’s not only being on the field that he loves—Thomas says he fell in love with music at the age of three while listening to his late grandmother’s gospel CDS.

Thomas said his grandmother bought him a guitar and also signed him up for piano lessons. By the time he was five, Thomas was performing.

“My plans…I’m going to UM for music technology and I’m going to play football,” said Thomas.
So play for the NFL or a career in music production—for Thomas his focus in in both.

“So if I make it to the NFL that would be a blessing for me,” said Thomas. But his love for music remains a strong passion. “I have love for music and took it upon myself to learn and play the instruments I hear in the songs.”

Thomas plays the piano, trombone, euphonium (a small tuba), base guitar, regular guitar, snare, tuba, trumpet and drums.

CBS4’s Cynthia Demos asked Thomas, if he had to choose a career in either music or football, he paused for a moment but then finally answered.

“It would probably be music,” said Thomas.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Russell Westbrook Launches New Initiative to Promote Childhood Literacy

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s latest move is a true reflection of NBA players caring about the next generation of community leaders.

On October 27th, Westbrook launched his new “Russell’s Reading Room” initiative at North Highland Elementary School in Oklahoma. Funded by his organization, Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, the NBA superstar stocked the new reading center with 1,200 books for children of all ages and plans to open two more centers within the next couple of months.

Partnering with Scholastic for their National Read 100,000 program, Westbrook is challenging students to log 100,000 minutes of reading throughout the year. At the end of the school year, Subway will sponsor an assembly with Westbrook and the school that has the most students with logged in reading minutes.

“Reading is a key to success,” Westbrook tells NewsOK. “When people in my position are able to do things like this, give kids something exciting to see, give them some type of encouragement, give them access or some type of way to reward them for reading.”

Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation was launched in 2012 with the mission to inspire kids and encourage them to ask “Why Not?” when faced with the challenge of being told they can’t do something. Westbrook’s foundation hosts annual Thanksgiving and Christmas events for the community in order to provide resources for individuals in need.


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Science Behind America's Game

Did you hear the one about the MacArthur genius physicist and the NFL coach? It's not a joke. It's actually an innovative way to understand chaos theory, and the remarkable complexity of modern professional football.

In Newton's Football, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Allen St. John and TED talker and former Yale professor Ainissa Ramirez explore the unexpected science behind America's Game. Whether it's Jerry Rice finding the common ground between quantum physics and the West Coast offense or an Ivy League biologist explaining--at a granular level--exactly how a Big Mac morphs into an outside linebacker, Newton's Football illuminates football--and science--through funny, insightful stories told by some of the world's sharpest minds.

With a clear-eyed empirical approach--and an exuberant affection for the game--St. John and Ramirez address topics that have long beguiled scientists and football fans alike, including:

* the unlikely evolution of the football (or, as they put it, "The Divine Random Bounce of the Prolate Spheroid")
* what Vince Lombardi has in common with Isaac Newton
* how the hardwired behavior of monkeys can explain a head coach's reluctance to go for it on fourth-down
* why a gruesome elevator accident jump-started the evolution of placekicking
* how Teddy Roosevelt saved football using the same behavioral science concept that Dreamworks would use to save Shrek
* why woodpeckers don't get concussions
* how better helmets actually made the game more dangerous

Every Sunday the NFL shares a secret with only its savviest fans: The game isn't just a clash of bodies, it's a clash of ideas. The greatest minds in football have always possessed an instinctual grasp of science, understanding the big ideas and gritty realities that inform the game's rich past, as well as its increasingly uncertain future.

Blending smart reporting, counterintuitive creativity, and compelling narrative, Newton's Football takes gridiron analysis to the next level, giving fans a book that entertains, enlightens, and explains the game anew.

Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science.  She co-authored (with Allen St. John) Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game (Random House); and, authored Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists (TED Books).

Before taking on the call to improve the public’s understanding of science, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University.  Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named her as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, CNN, NPR, ESPN, The Hartford Courant and numerous scientific magazines (Scientific American and Discover Magazine).

Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). Prior to being on the faculty at Yale, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey were she did award-winning research. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide.

She now focuses her energies on making science fun, and gave an impassioned called to action at TED on the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, which generated widespread enthusiasm. At Yale, she was the director of the award-winning science lecture series for children called Science Saturdays and hosted two popular-science video series called Material Marvels and Science Xplained.

As a graduate student she wrote as a science correspondent for Time magazine’s Washington D.C. bureau, which ignited her passion for communicating science.  Now, she speaks internationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, and several science museums.