SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers Foundation and its award-winning 49ers EDU program announced today the expansion of the Dr. Harry Edwards “Follow Your Bliss” Award grant to reward five educators. The platform growth is due to the support of new partners Extra Yard for Teachers and Micron Technology, Inc.
The award went to three educators in 2019 and is for full-time, K-12 educators, administrators and community educators across the San Francisco Bay Area who lead the future generation with purpose, passion, dedication, and love.
Each of the now five awardees will receive a $5,000 stipend for in-classroom materials and other necessary resources for the 2020 – 2021 academic year, mentorship from Dr. Edwards for the recipients and his or her fellow educators, and formal recognition at a Levi’s® Stadium event with family and colleagues.
“Dr. Edwards has been a staple in this franchise for over 20 years and this award is a testament to his impact on this organization during that time and his innate desire to continuously work to better our community,” said Jesse Lovejoy, director of 49ers EDU. “When looking for partners to help us grow the impact of the Dr. Harry Edwards Follow Your Bliss Award, it was crucial that we find organizations that were mission-aligned and believed in the importance and power of educators just like Dr. Edwards.”
Alongside the previous year’s focus on recognizing one educator from each of the three grade range categories – K-5, 6-8 and 9-12, the 49ers have added two new categories in 2020. The first focuses on an administrator, and the second on a community educator. The continued growth of the platform and the additional grants were made possible due to the partnership of Extra Yard for Teachers and Micron Technology Inc..
“We are very excited to partner once again with the 49ers after working with them last year in the lead up to the College Football Playoff National Championship,” said Brian Banowsky, Executive Director of the CFP Foundation. “We share a passion for leveraging sports as a platform for education with the 49ers and have seen first-hand the impact their programs have had on Bay Area teachers and students. The Dr. Harry Edwards Follow Your Bliss Award aligns with our mission to inspire and empower teachers by providing them with resources and recognition for the work that they do every day to mold future generations.”
“We believe that educators can inspire students to pursue a world of possibilities, leading and guiding them to make connections to the world beyond the classroom,” said Dee Mooney, executive director of the Micron Foundation. “Micron is honored to support them and their work through this award.”
Over the last half century, Dr. Edwards has been a nationally renowned sociologist, civil rights activist, educator, author, and 49ers team consultant. A graduate of San Jose State University, Edwards served as a Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley – his tenure spanning 1970 – 2000.
“This award would not be possible without the leadership of the York family and their commitment to generate the resources necessary to assist the development and advancement of Bay Area youth both in and beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Harry Edwards. “The expansion of this award from three to five educators is further indication of that commitment as the York family and the 49ers explore, expand, and implement ways to recognize and honor the teachers who inspire their students to learn and follow their bliss.”
The award’s namesake stems from the first step in Dr. Edwards’ Blueprint for Academic Achievement and Success: “Follow Your Bliss – Explore and consider paths that might lead not just to achieving a career interest but to realizing your calling – the educational option and emphasis that for you lies at the confluence of talent, passion, productive potential, and opportunity.”
Basic criteria for the 2020 Dr. Harry Edwards “Follow Your Bliss” nomination:
· Must be currently working in one of the nine counties of the Bay Area.
· The teacher is a full-time educator for grades K – 12.
· The administrator is a principal, superintendent or other full-time employee at a K-12 school.
· The community educator is affiliated with a museum, after-school program, or nonprofit organization dedicated to providing learning opportunities for K-12 students.
· All applicants must be deeply committed to teaching students and have a positive and lasting impact on youth;
· Have exceptional teaching skills as evidenced by effective instructional practices and learning results; and
· Have an engaging and inspirational presence that motivates and impacts learners.
The nomination/application window for the 2020 Dr. Harry Edwards Follow Your Bliss Award will open March 1. For more information, please visit: www.49ers.com/bliss
The San Francisco 49ers and the 49ers Foundation leads professional sports in the support of STEM learning concepts for youth through 49ers EDU. 49ers EDU began its field trip program in 2014, in conjunction with the opening of Levi’s Stadium, to provide learning platforms for K-8 students through content-rich lessons using the STEAM principles of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. To date, the program has reached more than 250,000 Bay Area students and educators – 60,000 annually – with 60% of students coming from Title I Designated schools. The 49ers Foundation has also invested in the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute’s Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, Calif., where a six-year curriculum that begins in seventh grade and continues through high school works to prepare students with high academic potential for careers in STEM. The STEM Leadership Institute, launched in 2014 in partnership between the 49ers Foundation, Chevron Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and the Santa Clara Unified School District, currently hosts six cohorts of scholars totaling over 300 students enrolled in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th,11th and 12th grade program, which expanded to Santa Clara High School in fall 2016.
About the 49ers Foundation
The 49ers Foundation harnesses football to educate and empower Bay Area youth through collective and innovative community-focused strategies. From award-winning STEAM education and nationally recognized youth football programs, to impactful community partnerships with leading non-profits, the 49ers Foundation is tirelessly dedicated to inspiring the confidence and collaboration youth need to tackle what is possible. Last year alone, the 49ers Foundation committed more than $6 million back into the Bay Area community and in its 28 years in existence has donated nearly $50 million.
*About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers *
The CFP Foundation is the community investment arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary cause platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, is dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit cfp-foundation.org and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.
About Micron Technology, Inc. and the Micron Foundation
Micron Technology, Inc. is an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions. Through our global brands – Micron® and Crucial®– our broad portfolio of high-performance memory and storage technologies, including DRAM, NAND, NOR Flash and 3D XPoint™ memory, is transforming how the world uses information to enrich life. Backed by 40 years of technology leadership, our memory and storage solutions enable disruptive trends, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous vehicles, in key market segments like data center, networking, automotive, industrial, mobile, graphics and client. Our common stock is traded on the Nasdaq under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit micron.com.
Since its founding in 1999, the Micron Foundation has contributed over $100 million through philanthropy and people to communities where our team members live and work. The Foundation and Micron’s corporate giving are driven by the Micron Gives organization with grants, programs and volunteer efforts focused on promoting science and engineering education and addressing basic human needs. To learn more, visit micron.com/foundation and follow the Foundation on Twitter @MicronGives.
Micron and the Micron orbit logo are trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.