THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Enhancing Purpose Preparatory Academy's curriculum with a $1 million donation isn't the end of Jalen Ramsey's work with the north Nashville, Tennessee, charter school. Rather, it's only the beginning.
Following that financial pledge last month, Ramsey and the group in charge of the school already have some ideas for what they want to do.
"We've had a couple board meetings already, where we're passing along ideas of some things that we might want to incorporate or add to all the great things that they're already doing in their curriculum that they already have," Ramsey told reporters during a Friday morning pre-practice video conference.
According to Ramsey, those early discussions have centered around possibly expanding the school beyond fourth grade (it also serves kindergarten-, first-, second- and third-graders) and incorporating STEM – an interdisciplinary and applied approach focused on science, technology, engineering and math – into the the curriculum.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing and causing the school to implement a virtual learning experience, right now they're focused on making sure students have the necessary means – i.e. mobile hotspots for internet connectivity – to successfully navigate it.
"I genuinely believe in the youth," Ramsey said, when asked why it's important for him to be hands-on with this cause. "I believe educating the youth is the way that we'll see change. Maybe not immediately, but it will come down the line, it will come at some point. And that's just genuinely what I believe in my heart. It wasn't a 'throw money at it and go away from it'-type thing for me. Obviously that helps, but I want to be as involved as I can be, to actually help even more."
While Ramsey's childhood education experience was different from the kids he's currently helping, he understands the importance of making sure every child has the necessary resources to succeed.
"Both my parents did a great job of raising me and instilling good things in me, good morals in me, education, all the things that really matter," Ramsey said. "I want to be able to help other people, other kids who maybe are not as privileged as I was navigate through that, because I had obviously friends and teammates growing up who were in those positions."