M.L.’s Mission: Former Celtics Head Coach and Star Player Assists People with New Program
As Red Auerbach always said, "whether you are winning in basketball or winning in business - it starts with a vision. And, that vision has to be very clear. People got to buy into that because if they buy in and take ownership of that vision then that will help everyone get to where you want to be."
By that statement, there is no trace of doubt or even the slightest question that Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics style and approach to business and life have greatly influence M.L. Carr.
Carr, the former hard-nosed NBA standout whose career spanned nearly two decades and who was a key member of the Celtics 1981 and 1984 World Championship teams, has now channeled his focus and energy toward his latest and, perhaps, most challenging mission -WARM2Kids.
Founded by Carr, who has a long history with youth mentoring programs, and developed in association with nationally recognized family therapist Dr. Lonnie Carton, WARM2Kids is based on the premise that we are all role models. The bottom line is, WARM2Kids' mission is to motivate and inspire teens and young adults to make positive life decisions, and to ensure that no young person or family suffers in silence.
WARM2Kids is an internet-based community and educational tool founded by Carr. WARM2Kids - an acronym for We're All Role Models 2 Kids - is comprised on several online and offline programs including mentor training, e-learning resources, celebrity role model/student interaction, charitable events and corporate benefit programs. The core focus of WARM2Kids' many programs is the web content and resource guide, www.warm2kids.com.
"We've embarked on something in WARM2Kids where we have a very clear vision on what we're trying to do and where we would like to take this," Carr explains. "We would like to eventually see millions of young people and parents and educators, utilizing our site to stay 'connected' with one another - to let people know you are not alone no matter what you've been through, somebody has been through it. If you have anxiety, depression or if you have acne - somebody has been through it. So why not connect people who have been through this to people who are experiencing it now?"
Carr, currently an executive with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, bounces back into a basketball comparison, "it's almost like the veterans and rookies, no matter how talented the rookie is, you need the veterans there to show what the experience was and to eliminate some of the bumps in the road - we are doing the same thing in this business."
Carr, bubbling with enthusiasm and drive, continues, "So, the vision is very clear as to what we want to do with this. The mission is very pure because any time you set out on a mission to help others, that's a pure mission. Our belief is that, somewhere along the line, there is some family or some kid out there that's dealing with something that they can get help with. But when you are going through those tough times, sometimes you feel by yourself...so you're little world crumbles sometimes. And what we want to say is the celebrities that we have talking about their issues growing up or issues they've dealt with in life or the experts that we use to talk about those issues, from a professional standpoint, we're building a team to help people deal with their daily issues."
The mission, as we have discovered, is very pure... the challenge is facts.
"We can't (and M.L. dislikes using this word because he is such a positive man) do this by ourselves," Carr states while rubbing his chin with his hand. "We are going to need the educators, the professional people whether it is a psychologist, an orthopedist, a medical or social professional, parents and the clergy to be a part of this. We need the celebrities because they draw attention to this and help deliver the messages that teachers and parents already deliver. And, we need the everyday work role model - because people need to know that you don't have to just be a celebrity to go through these issues, every day people go through it."
The challenge is vast, but that is M.L. Carr. This is something that has never been done before, but, again, that only adds fuel to Carr's fire. He is always up to the task, ready to tackle anything with 200% effort, execution and shrewd planning. It's almost like the old television show Star Trek where the show started with the phrase, 'to boldly go where no man has gone before.' Carr is no different with this mammoth undertaking.
"From the standpoint of connecting people, online, the anonymity of the site is in a safe environment with a language or a content that is written at a grade point level that is comprehensible but not too complex. It is not 'dumbed down,'" Carr elaborates. This where Dr. Carton lends her expertise and wisdom to the program.
So what is the end result, the final box score?
"We look at it as taking the mission that we have with a clear-cut vision, with the big challenges and with the help of a lot of people and we have an opportunity to do something that utilizes the website and the anonymity of the website to have an incredible impact," Carr proudly states. The author of three books and the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Image Award, Carr sites Dr. King saying, "I remember Dr. King saying, I may not get there with you but I've been to the mountain top. He had a very clear vision - he saw it! I can see this as clear as day. This is a legacy because 50 years from now, 100 years from now, hopefully, this is the seed that becomes the oak tree. We've planted a seed which, hopefully, germinates, grows and have an impact. I see people from all walks of life - people will be able to share their experiences online to help somebody else. To me, that's pretty powerful."