Bobcats, SportSouth present three scholarships to Y Achievers

CHARLOTTE — FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth partnered with the Charlotte Bobcats to provide three $5,000 scholarships to help fund the educational goals of three local high school students. During an on-court presentation at halftime of Game 3 of the Miami Heat series, Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth Senior Vice President & General Manager Jeff Genthner presented the three $5,000 scholarships to high school seniors Rachel Bernard (Vance High School), Anjelica Pendergrass (West Charlotte High School) and Jordan Williams (West Charlotte High School).

Each student participated in the Y Achievers program, a YMCA of Greater Charlotte initiative that operates in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The program helps teens improve academic performance, develop a positive sense of self, build character, explore diverse college and career options and interact with professionals who serve as role models.

"As an organization, we recognize and understand the importance of education in our community, and this is the reason it is one of the pillars of our Cats Care Foundation," Whitfield said. "Along with our partner FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth, we are proud to support the youth of the Charlotte community through these educational grants to help them reach their potential and achieve ultimate success."

Last year, the two organizations joined together for a $200,000 sponsorship of Y Achievers. Along with the $200,000 sponsorship, they honored one student each from West Charlotte High School, West Mecklenburg High School and Vance High School with a $5,000 scholarship to help fund their educational goals after high school.

The Bobcats also invited six local high school students who were members of Y Achievers to participate in the Cats Academy Fellowship Program.  Two students each from Vance, West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg participated in the six-week fellowship, which was designed to provide insight and experience into the sports and entertainment industry.

"FOX Sports and the Charlotte Bobcats share a deep commitment to invest in the communities we serve through our respective businesses," Genthner said. "Through our partnership with the Bobcats in support of the Y Achievers program and these Y Achievers Scholarships, FOX Sports hopes to touch the lives of many Charlotte area teens by clarifying what they can truly accomplish in their lives and an educational advantage to make those visions a reality."

About Cats Care

Through its Cats Care initiative, Bobcats Sports & Entertainment is committed to helping the needs of the community in the areas of education, hunger and wellness.  Bobcats players, coaches and staff are actively engaged in the community, volunteering their time and efforts to serve these key areas.

About Y Achievers

Y Achievers is a national YMCA program designed to help teens set and pursue high educational and career goals resulting in graduation and acceptance into a post-secondary institute or adoption of a vocation. Y Achievers is year-round, enrolling new freshmen each fall. During the school year, students participate in weekly afterschool sessions and monthly Saturday Summits. Students also take part in job shadowing opportunities and college tours. During the summer, eligible rising juniors and seniors are provided the opportunity to work paid summer internships. Y Achievers serves students from varying academic levels. Students are identified through assistance from Communities In Schools site coordinators, school counselors, teachers and administrators. Y Achievers addresses Charlotte’s most critical need: increasing the graduation rate, which rose more than four percentage points from 2012-2013 to reach 81 percent, up from 76.4 percent a year earlier.