Staff and students from Major Adams Community Committee and Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming a Man) program were treated to a VIP kind of evening as the Bulls and Magellan Corporation teamed up to host Violence Prevention Night at the United Center on Tuesday.
A group of more than 25 students watched as Joakim Noah and his teammates turned in a gutsy performance for a win against the visiting Washington Wizards. Then, those on hand for the third in a series of three signature nights held during the 2014-15 season to highlight the Bulls’ areas of charitable focus got to meet their hero.
Noah did it all against the Wizards, finishing with 14 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. But his work wasn’t done at the final buzzer as he met with the groups, took photos and signed autographs after the game.
The group also watched the team’s pregame warm ups and took a center court photo in addition to receiving a Bulls drawstring bag, t-shirt and notebook.
It’s that kind of effort from Noah and the Bulls that interested Magellan Corporation in being part of the program.
“We are passionate about helping the young people of Chicagoland; whether it be making sure kids have the healthcare they need, re-enforcing the importance of education, providing positive extra-curricular activities or keeping youth away from violence,” said Michael Minkus, manager of external relations and communications for Magellan. “We are always eager to be involved with efforts to improve the lives of youth and being a part of Violence Prevention Night fits perfectly with that philosophy.”
In particular, the impact Noah and his Noah’s Arc Foundation make while working with the groups on hand Tuesday have resonated with those at Magellan.
Major Adams Community Committee, located near the United Center in the Near West Neighborhood, is dedicated to mentoring and teaching at-risk students as well as helping them realize their full potential. The Bulls have worked with MACC over the last few years to organize player appearances, artistic expression workshops, holiday events and basketball tournaments.
B.A.M. is a dropout prevention and anti-violence program for at-risk male students in grades 7-12 that offers in-school
programming, in some cases complemented by after-school sports, to develop social-cognitive skills strongly correlated with reductions in violent and anti-social behavior. The Bulls have partnered with Youth Guidance since early 2012, arranging for guest speakers to address their program youth groups, offering mentoring opportunities, hosting students at games, providing arena tours, and organizing career presentations. In June of 2013, the Bulls and Chicago White Sox launched a series of public service announcement videos highlighting an anti-violence message and the teams’ partnership with Youth Guidance. The team also works with Youth Guidance’s Working on Womanhood (W.O.W) program, which serves 1,000 female youth at 30 schools.
“We are familiar with the work of Major Adams Community Committee and Youth Guidance through our relationship with the Noah’s Arc Foundation,” noted Minkus. “A large part of what makes these organizations so important is that they are truly neighborhood centric. These are not merely facilities that help at-risk youth; they are community institutions which are guiding local children down the right path to adulthood.”
Sharing some of the stories of these programs to those who are so supportive and passionate about the Bulls comes is of great value, Minkus believes.
“It is important that more people know about the vital work done by organizations such as MACC and Youth Guidance,” said Minkus. “Hopefully, the more people that become familiar with these organizations and their missions, the more support they will receive, which in turn will allow them to help more kids.”
Knowing the Bulls are an organization which strives for success on and off the court makes them an ideal partner for Magellan to partner with them when it comes to giving back.
“Magellan is a civic-minded organization that has always placed an emphasis on giving back,” stated Minkus. “The Bulls’ influence within our community is far reaching and touches many more civic groups than we could by ourselves. We are, accordingly, happy to collaborate with and support the Chicago Bulls, Nancy Reinsdorf and Leslie Forman, in all of their charitable efforts.”