Allen Delivers Computer Lab to Tobin School

ROXBURY, Mass. – A lot of things come to mind when one thinks of Ray Allen. From his 16-year NBA basketball career to his recent history-making 3-point shot, Allen’s basketball accomplishments are well known. However, there is more to Allen than his on-the-court play.

Since entering the league in 1996, Allen has dedicated countless hours to community service. Believing that kids need positive role models in their lives, he founded the Ray of Hope Foundation in 1997 in order to better serve today’s youth.

Wanting to do more for the Boston community, Allen visited the Tobin School in Roxbury on March 8th and announced to the students that he would be creating a state of the art computer lab for them. The school’s previous computer lab consisted of out-of-date computers with several of those not usable.

“Technology and computers in particular are extremely important for our youth,” said the All-Star guard. “Computers have become so mainstream that they play a crucial role in our lives. Every school should have an up-to-date computer lab.”

Being true to his word, Tuesday afternoon, Allen along with 20 Tobin students entered the transformed room.

“Wow, this looks awesome,” remarked one student. “It doesn’t even look like the same room!”

Not only had the Ray of Hope Foundation purchased 30 new computers that came with headsets and webcams, but a smart board was installed as well! In addition, the completely renovated room helped with the drastic transformation. The walls were painted Celtics green and white. The floors were revamped and looked bright and spotless. Several graphics were hung on the wall. Holes in the ceiling had been repaired, Images of Allen’s 2, 561 three-pointer, the Big Four sitting on the bench together and an arena shot from last season’s first playoff game blended in with the walls. The room was definitely appealing as well as technologically advanced!

“It was very rewarding to see the kids’ faces as they came into the room today,” said Allen. “It was better than making a basket or winning a game. This room will help to change lives and that’s more important than anything else.”

Once the students were seated, Principal Cheryl Watson-Harris and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson welcomed Allen, his family and staff to the room and thanked them for their generous donation to the school.

Allen in turn addressed the students. “I’m inspired to be here in this room today. Since moving to Boston I’ve tried to do what I can throughout Boston. Working with the Boston Public School system to create computer labs has been extremely rewarding. Education is important and these computers will help with your studies. They will help you become successful in life. The best way you all can say thank you is to take care of this lab.”

The students were then divided into four groups in order to learn as much as they could about UCONN, Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston, the four places Allen had played basketball. In a span of 15 minutes, everyone learned that UCONN’s total number of NCAA basketball championships was nine, Milwaukee was established in 1785, Seattle’s most famous tourist attraction was the Space Needle and Boston’s population consisted of 645,169 people.

“Look at how much you all learned in such a short span of time,” remarked Director of Community Relations, Matt Meyersohn. “We split you guys up to learn about the different cities and college. In 15 minutes, you all had a pretty good idea about your topic. If you could take 15 minutes every day on these computers learning about different educational topics, think about how much knowledge you will have by the time you graduate.” As the unveiling ceremony came to a close, Allen spent time speaking with the students. They all thanked him for the lab and promised to take great care of it.

“I think the kids really appreciate this lab,” said a smiling Allen. “I’m excited to do more of these in the future.”

For more information about the Ray of Hope Foundation please go to http://rayallen20.com/about-ray/activist/