Troy, N.Y. – A unique partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Athletics and the National Grid Foundation is encouraging local students to aim high with their education. On Friday, November 22, 2019, the partners will honor local children from the Troy City School District, Boys and Girls Club of Troy, and the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club at an annual “Shoot for the Stars” event.
The Shoot for the Stars program is designed to motivate students to improve their academic performance, attendance, and school behavior. At select games throughout the season, local elementary and middle school students and a guest are invited to attend Rensselaer Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey games, which includes a pre-game reception and an on-ice puck drop ceremony. A video about the program is here.
National Grid Upstate New York executive – Mr. Bob Shevy; Deputy Mayor of Troy – the Honorable Monica Kurzejeski; Rensselaer Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics – Dr. Lee McElroy, and Rensselaer’s Senior Advancement Officer for Foundation Relations – Deborah Chesky will also be participating in the ceremony.
“The National Grid Foundation is pleased to again team up with Rensselaer on the Shoot for the Stars program,” said Mr. Ed White, President of the National Grid Foundation. “The addition of our Rising Stars award program component (which will take place at the end of the 2019-2020 hockey season), recognizes the most exceptional young students in each grade and will stimulate even greater performance in the classroom. This award, along with inspiration from Rensselaer’s exceptional scholar-athletes, and the reward of a Rensselaer hockey game, will benefit the students of the Greater Troy area immensely.”
The partnership between Rensselaer and National Grid Foundation to implement the “Shoot for the Stars” program began in January, 2014 with children from the Troy City School District. Since the program’s inception, thousands of children have participated. The Foundation is supporting the program this year with a $15,000 investment.
Meghan Ogden, whose nine-year-old son Jordan has also participated in the program for multiple years, said, “He actually wants to come and play hockey for RPI when he gets older, and that’s a goal he has set for himself. He knows that, to be a player at RPI, he also has to be a good student.”
As role models to the young people in the community, Rensselaer scholar-athletes act as mentors to the program participants. This engagement goes beyond sports and piques interest of young students in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“I really appreciate that they do this program for us. We love it,” said Christie Fronhofer, whose children have participated in the program for several years. “I think it’s great. They do a whole program for the kids and they’re always so gracious.”
Other National Grid Foundation programs include the successful “Hoops for the Stars” program that provides tickets for men’s and women’s basketball games at other colleges and universities to middle school students for their academic achievements.
About National Grid Foundation
The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation has provided over $20 million in grants to organizations across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and over 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.