Brittany Boyd, a Bay Area native and Cal Berkley alumni, plays point guard in the WNBA. As the 9th overall pick in the 2015 draft by the New York Liberty, Boyd is pursuing her passion and athleticism at the highest level. Having suffered a devastating achilles tendon rupture during a game, Brittany experienced first hand the fragility of a career as a professional athlete as well as the power of sports medicine and rehab which enabled her to return to competition. Through her experience with BIO and EYI she realized that women need to be better supported in their athletic and educational pursuits.
As a female professional athlete, Boyd is well aware of the disparity in pay and treatment of female athletes in contrast to their male counterparts. Through her involvement with EYI, Brittany has seized the opportunity to use her injury, and platform as a professional female athlete to empower young women in sport and education. Her goal is to show young female student athletes that there is a place for them in athletics on or off the court of play.
Karl Joseph played football at West Virginia University and after graduation was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2016. His mother relocated their family to Orlando, Florida from Haiti when he was eleven years old. As a single mother she raised two boys and taught them the value of hard work. Being raised by such an empowering female figure, Karl Joseph learned the key to success: dedication and strong-will.
Joseph is passionate about providing local and global communities with opportunities to achieve their goals. In 2018 he volunteered with Cliff Avril Family Foundation to promote healthy lifestyles and also incorporate athletic opportunities for Haitian children and families. Locally, he has extended his philanthropic acts to the community by financially sponsoring students and paying for their education.
He believes that providing educational opportunities for the youth is vital to the successful society of tomorrow.
In 2013 Erik Harris started playing in the Canadian Football League and stayed there for three years prior to being signed to the New Orleans Saints. After one year of playing for New Orleans, he was signed by the Oakland Raiders as a safety and has played for them for the past three years.
Harris was raised by a single mother who taught him that diligence and persistence would enable him to become as successful as he could be. But in his youth, he didn’t have the privilege of growing up with limitless advantages to better his talents. Community members saw his hard work and soon came to recognize that his future would be bright if he pursued his passion with proper training. So neighbors and friends lent a helping hand and provided him with assistance to enhance his skills.
Now approaching his fourth year in the NFL, Harris saw the opportunity to sponsor a local project that would provide assistance to today’s youth just as it was for him. He realizes that the youth of today is our future. There are many children who do not have platforms that facilitate their growth and now is the time to pay it forward.
Time is the main reason I decided to get involved with the Empowered Youth Internship. Somewhere between high school and turning 40, I realized my time on earth is finite, and the purpose of my short existence is to ensure the quality of life continues to improve for future generations. I find philanthropy an effective way to support the future generations. When Ada and Alexis introduced EYI’s philosophy and practice to me, I knew right away their program aligns with my own beliefs. Recalling my own youth, I understand how early exposure and hands on internships can expand young people’s perspective and life. Supporting the Empowered Youth Internship in many ways brings meaning to my limited time here.
Ave Tucker is the CEO and co-founder of TM Financial Forensics, a business and litigation consulting company. He is a Certified Public Accountant and provides expert testimony on major litigation and dispute matters throughout the world. Ave is also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University School of Engineering, where he teaches two financial and management courses to graduate students. He attended George Washington University on a baseball scholarship.
Ave is actively involved in a number of important philanthropic causes. He is on the Board of Trustees at George Washington University. He also serves on the National Board of the All Stars Project Inc. The All Stars Project has helped tens of thousands of inner-city youth and their families create success in their lives through various after school development programs as well as a nationally recognized program to improve relations between police officers and youth. In addition, he is a National Trustee of the The First Tee, which has helped hundreds of thousands of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing 9 core life values like integrity, respect, and perseverance through the game of golf. Ave believes that supporting education and providing opportunities to underserved youth is important to strengthen our society.
Rich Hill, a current pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been recognized as an astounding athlete since his Freshman year of high school when he joined the varsity baseball team. In 1999, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds but humbly declined the offer in order to refine his talents.
He then played baseball for the Michigan Wolverines. During this time, Hill pitched five out his thirteen games in a starting position. The following year he was drafted by the Anaheim Angels, but declined the offer and continued playing for the Wolverines his junior year. He was officially signed by the Chicago Cubs in 2002. Following the Cubs, Rich Hill played for the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Anaheim Angels, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hill is sponsoring this program because he understands the complexity of advancing skills through practice and at a young age. He believes that EYI provides room for educational, hands-on development that inspires one kid at a time to pursue their true passions in life.
Obi Melifonwu was born in London, England and moved to Connecticut at the age of three years old. Melifonwu’s prodigious football career at Grafton High School has opened up an array of doors of which he has been able to select his career path. After graduating,he attended the University of Connecticut and was a top player his senior year.
After college, he then traveled to the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and Connecticut's Pro Day where he proved to be exceptionally talented and prepared for a professional career in the NFL. Obi was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 2017 draft and later signed to the New England Patriots where he plays the safety position and was part of their Super Bowl LII championship team.
Through many obstacles, Melifonwu has proved to be an astounding player and wishes to see the youth of tomorrow have the opportunity excel in the manner he has. He views EYI as a program that allows generations to come to perform to the best of their abilities through proper training and exposure.