Pickup the Ball targets young athletes in low-income, high-risk areas to provide them opportunities that will raise their level of expectations for life, increase their chance of success, and improve understanding among all communities.

…targets young athletes… We started on the basketball courts where pickup basketball is played, but we have been able to connect with other young people, such as football players, whose passion is sports, and these sports is one of the ways these young people see hope for the future.

…in low-income, high-risk areas…  We feel we can be effective in areas where hope is hardest to find.  Poverty is more than a lack of financial resources, it is a lack of support, opportunity, and hope.  We believe we can make a difference in these areas.

…raise their expectations for life… Many who live in poverty have internalized the message that they have received throughout their lives: that they will only be able to achieve so much.  We know our members should expect more from life, and we want to help them realize it.

…increase their chance of success… Once our members believe they can succeed, we want to support them in whatever way we can to achieve whatever they have decided is success for them.  This can come in many forms, including mentoring, employment assistance, transportation, or just having someone that believes in them.

…improve understanding among all communities.  When we introduce our members to local businessmen and community leaders, a great thing happens: our members learn something, but the businessmen and community leaders learn something too.  Common ground is found, and perceptions are changed.  This brings our communities closer together.