Through the power of sports and technology, Greater is aimed at redefining education so that all students from all backgrounds are equipped for 21st century opportunities.
We believe the answer to the problems we’re facing in the world today can be solved once we create a deeper roster of leaders who are willing to serve.
We think if you’re willing to serve, you are willing to lead. And if you’re willing to lead, you are willing to mentor others to do the same.
To this end, Greater is diving deep into the communities its serving — from Seattle to Stillwater — and partnering with existing schools, youth groups, nonprofit organizations, and businesses in those communities not to create new leaders, but to work with and reveal the existing leader in each of us.
Through exposure, access, and education boosted by neighborhood partnerships, we believe we can foster change. Our goal is to break the cycle of at-risk youth to create a new class of global citizens who are equipped to grow through their circumstances with personal responsibilities to their communities — and the world. Our programs aim to serve this purpose.
We believe the problems of unequal opportunity and underrepresentation in the tech industry and in the 21st century workforce can be solved once we create a deeper roster of leaders who are willing to serve and mentor. We recruit former and current athletes - the role models and representatives of many underserved areas - as well as industry professionals, to establish a strong community of mentors.
We are the bridge. Greater partners with existing schools, youth groups, nonproﬁt organizations, and businesses to establish relationships between our mentors and students in need. To foster economic mobility, motivate students, and provide opportunities for life-changing student success, we implement a number of programs to bring out the leader, entrepreneur, and forward-thinker in every student from every background.
The influence of athletes enables us to reach a wide range of communities. Our programs aim to bring STEM education into all schools, emphasize the power and possibilities of technology and entrepreneurship, coach students in professional and personal development, and prepare students to be the future leaders of this world.
Success and prosperity in today’s economy is virtually impossible without tech skills and expertise. LinkedIn calculated that 12 of the 20 most promising jobs of 2017 are in tech. The remainder of the list is virtually all medical professionals. Jobs in the tech industry are growing significantly faster than the average job growth rate and these jobs require specific skills.
According to Market Watch, “roughly half of the jobs in the top income quartile — defined as those paying $57,000 or more per year — are in occupations that commonly require applicants to have at least some computer coding knowledge or skill, according to an analysis of 26 million U.S. online job postings by job market analytics firm Burning Glass and Oracle Academy.”
While the tech sector and job market grows so quickly, students without access to critical STEM education are being left behind in the race. The rapid and immense advancement that has been made towards this tech-centric world has been so exponential that it has created a dangerous and unjust divide. The tech industry has birthed new languages, fostered new ways of thinking, and warranted an entire new set of skills. Without access to the necessary education, students are being denied the opportunity to succeed in this world. With tech companies struggling to fill the constantly growing demand for tech professionals, why are women and people of color still being denied the tools to permeate this sector?
As sports professionals, we recognize that the path to becoming a professional athlete is clear - early youth skills training, high school recruitment, college scholarship, then the NFL Draft. Starting from childhood, students can choose - and are often encouraged in many communities - to follow this path to “success”. It’s clear, it’s attractive, and it undoubtedly benefits those that are encouraging the students to follow this path. But the problem is that this path only leads to success for 0.01% of high school athletes. According to the NCAA, only 6.8% of high school football players continue on to compete at a collegiate level, with only 1.5% of that percentage moving on to a career as a professional athlete. But student athletes are told that if you just work hard, stay on the grind, and stay out of trouble, you could be the next Dez Bryant, Russell Wilson, or Lebron James. Although we support aspiring athletes, it is time to create a greater pathway for students to follow towards success, prosperity, and leadership - a pathway that is clear, possible, and inclusive of people from all backgrounds, regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation.
At the intersection of sports and technology, we are leveraging these combined powers in a movement to create a new path to opportunity for students of all backgrounds and to foster diversity in the tech industry. Mirroring the path to professional athleticism, we replace Coaches with Mentors, physical training with learning, and Agents with Hiring Managers. Through our programs and with the help of our influential partners, we have created this new pathway, starting from childhood, and leading to a career in the tech industry as a leader and an innovator.
Elementary School: Learning the Language
Apple Swift Coding
Middle School: Applying the Skills
High School: Executing the Mindset
Jr. Leaders Program
Post-Secondary: Leading the Way
Greater Mentors and our partners, including Lego, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Code Fellows, Galvanize, and multiple more, are currently leading programs in local schools and in the community to drive the Greater Movement forward. This year, we will be launching our Computer Science program for Elementary and Middle School students, bringing Greater Lego Robotics to more classrooms, introducing several new major tech companies into our Jr. Leaders Program, and accepting new Fellows into the Greater Fellowship Program. The Greater Movement is redefining education, transforming opportunity, and diversifying the tech industry. Join the Movement and help change the future.
From the football field to the business world, Russ and
Andrew have chosen to be their brothers’ keepers.
The two met in 2008 at their alma mater Oklahoma State University, where they were teammates — and standouts — on the Cowboys’ football team. Both had bright futures: Russ was a left tackle, eventually chosen sixth overall by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 NFL draft; Andrew was a cornerback, on the path to the pros until a career-ending neck injury shifted his reality.
It was through that time of trouble that Andrew realized that Russ, who constantly came by his room during his rehabilitation, wasn’t just a star athlete or a gifted scholar, but a true leader. It wasn’t what they did or even what was discussed that was special so much as it was that Russ simply showed up. He was dependable and took time out of his day to show he cared for someone else. In those moments, Russ exemplified and embodied the spirit of great men who’d come before him, men who are the foundation of GREATER.
As Russ and Andrew’s friendship grew and deepened, a community need was realized and a movement was born: GREATER.
With outreach in both the athletic and technology sectors, Russ and Andrew — who went on to coach at both Oklahoma State University and West Virginia University — see themselves in the neighborhoods they serve. By leveraging their platform in athletics, GREATER’s co-founders are investing in those communities and bringing effective resources and best practices to underserved populations, ultimately empowering young adults to realize their true potential and providing opportunities for them to reach it.