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Teens Speak Up And Nike Puts Up In New Philanthropic Initiative

Published 11-29-00

Submitted by Nike Inc.

"All Talk and All Action" is the philosophy behind the new Nike Youth Action program. As the signature program from the Nike Foundation, this initiative will promote leadership and activism by providing today's youth, ages 12-18, with a public forum to address community issues and then teaching them the skills to acquire funding to make a difference in their own neighborhoods.

In a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as other community-based partners, Nike Youth Action: On and Off the Field will encourage kids to examine what issues and problems pose the greatest challenges to their communities, and to develop action steps and resources to find creative solutions. Once kids have targeted their issue, they will be mentored on how to write proposals that might lead to a Nike Foundation Grant to make their dream become a reality.

"In the spirit of Nike, we are challenging youth to take our 'Just Do It' motto literally," said Mariano Diaz, global director of the Nike Foundation. "The goal of Nike Youth Action: On and Off the Field is to teach youth that they have a voice and then educate them on the process behind making positive change for themselves and their communities."

How It Works
Recognizing that young people must be a part of the debate about issues impacting their lives, Nike Youth Action involves them in the discussion, development and implementation of programs that can make a difference for them now and in the future. As part of this program, Nike will award grants in the amount of $500 to select teens so that they can implement their programs. While this may appear to be a modest sum, the $500 for 100 teenagers will empower them to implement their own programs and to take their first steps towards significant community action that will be worth exponentially more.

"Nike Youth Action will create amazing opportunities for teenagers," said Tim Richardson, Sr. Director, Sports Fitness and Recreation for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We are challenging young people to talk about issues that matter most to them, and then we're creating opportunities for them to learn about how to take their involvement to the next level. This program will create energy and enthusiasm that will have an incredible positive benefit for their communities, their families and for each individual."

Launching the Program
Nike Youth Action will promote a series of events in New York City and Los Angeles that will challenge young people to take on visible roles and participate in a process for individual and group youth empowerment. The official launch of the program is marked by activities in NikeTowns in New York City and Los Angeles. The first NikeTown "Soapbox Launch" was held in Los Angeles on November 18th and the second is to be held in New York City on December 1st.

The mission of the Nike Foundation is to promote Youth Action – On and Off the Field. Since the company's founding, Nike has focused its community involvement programs on education, sports and enterprises primarily benefiting youth. In FY '00, the Nike Foundation donated $28 million in cash and product to community based organizations globally.

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Nike Inc.

Nike Inc.

NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com.

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