C's Host Event For Students with Perfect Attendance

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics Stay in School program, presented by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, has recognized the unprecedented accomplishments of Boston Public School students who exhibit perfect attendance on a monthly basis since 1990-91.

In a two-part, mid-year event, more than 650 middle school students who displayed perfect attendance through the months of November to January joined guest stars for an assembly showcasing a range of professions that go beyond the scope of a traditional career path.

With anticipation rising, Celtics in-arena host Coach Willie Maye introduced the prestigious panel for day one: Dr. Valerie Roberson President of Roxbury Community College, Vic Osorio of Mitchell & Ness, and Kelly Olynyk and Chris Johnson of the Boston Celtics.

Highlighting each of their specialties, the panel spoke of their career paths based on the Stay in School acronym of P.R.I.D.E. - perseverance, respect, integrity, dreams, and education.

Dr. Roberson tipped things off reflecting on her uphill battle to break down the barriers that women in leadership roles face and persevering to reach a goal despite the opinions of others.

Words of wisdom from Olynyk resonated with the youth when touching upon the value of respect.

“You have to listen to learn, but first you must learn to listen. Pay attention to your teachers, coaches and parents. Keep growing every day,” the rookie continued. “When you wake up you want to learn something you did not know when you first woke up that morning.”

Testing the youth’s knowledge Coach Willie Maye posed several trivia questions to the crowd for the chance to win signed memorabilia or tickets to an upcoming game. Students jumped at the opportunity to answer the brainteasers.

Moving onto the next letter, ‘I,’ for integrity, Osorio encouraged the youth in attendance to reach their full potential. Osorio explained to the students that art and fashion can open the doors to unique opportunities.

“Strive to make honest choices,” he said. “You will be faced with difficult decisions and you need to remain true to yourself in order to keep moving towards your goals.”

Next up, a living example of accomplishing a dream, Celtics newly-signed shooting guard Chris Johnson inspired the youth to build the fire within themselves to reach their own dreams.

“Hard work pays off, but a dream has to start from deep inside you” Johnson proclaimed.

With the students absorbing the advice of the impressive panel, Coach Willie Maye took to the mic one last time before the first assembly asked a few more trivia questions for the chance to take home a Mitchell & Ness snapback.

The panel for day two had a mix of new and familiar faces. Dr. Roberson and Osorio returned and were joined by WCVB news anchor Bianca de la Garza, and Phil Pressey and Jared Sullinger from the Boston Celtics.

This time around, Pressey spoke on the meaning of perseverance with Sullinger following suit on the value of showing others respect.

Tackling integrity one more time, Osorio saluted the students in the arena for continuing to make the right decision to go to school each day despite circumstances they may face.

Before continuing to the letter ‘D,’ cheers erupted through the gym as Coach began to ask students trivia questions. Correct answers earned lucky students a signed basketball or Mitchell & Ness merchandise.

Garza’s natural stage presence stole the students’ attention back to the panel as she reflected on her career path and reaching her dream of being an Emmy-nominated TV personality.

“No matter how big of a dream you can achieve it, it is all mental,” she exclaimed. “Your dreams start right here, not tomorrow.”
Well-deserving students walked out of the gym with a new perspective on possible career paths and more than enough advice on how to reach their goals from some of the most hardworking individuals in the greater Boston area.

Olynyk said it best when he stated, “Education is the reason why you are all here today. When you have knowledge you have the power to make the world a better place.”

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