Big Sean, Children’s Foundation and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins Invest $1.5 Million in Boys & Girls Clubs Programs

Big Sean, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Children’s Foundation, and Tyler “Ninja” Blevins among industry heavyweights investing $1.5 Million in Boys & Girls Clubs workforce and entrepreneur development program

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan announces 3rd Industry Club to strengthen career and entrepreneur pipeline for youth in sports, esports, and entertainment industry.
  • $1.5M investment includes the buildout of the second Sean Anderson Foundation Music Studio in Detroit, MI, and the Ninja Esports Lounge in Auburn Hills, MI.
  • Youth are paid $10-$13 per hr. to explore careers in sports, entertainment, gaming, and tech entrepreneurship.
  • Industry heavyweights and early adopters include the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Children’s Foundation, Tyler ‘’Ninja’’ Blevins and the Blevins Charitable Fund, Big Sean, and the Sean Anderson Foundation, and the Wayne County Commission.

This fall, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) will open its third Industry Club, which will provide paid workforce experience for young people interested in pursuing a career in sports, esports, and entertainment industries. The Industry Club will employ nearly 200 Detroit youth each year, ages 14 and up.

BGCSM is the first Boys & Girls Clubs location in the nation to provide the Industry Club model for youth and entrepreneurs. During the announcement, BGCSM will unveil its signature 21st Century Athlete collection designed by the current Fashion and Merchandising Industry Club cohort, which will be co-branded with Foot Locker. The collection speaks to how all Industry Clubs collaborate and empower one another.

“We’re excited to offer the sports and entertainment industry club which will be a game-changer for the youth of metro Detroit,” said Shawn H. Wilson, president, and CEO of BGCSM. “Together with our dynamic industry partners, we will have a collective impact which will help break the poverty cycle for many of the youth we serve.”

Industry Club Initiative aligns with BGCSM’s efforts to address poverty through economic mobility and continue to have a positive community impact and advancement for youth and their families. A fourth Industry Club is scheduled to be announced later this year.

Detroit Pistons continues support of youth development on and off the court

The Detroit Pistons will continue their long-term partnership financial commitments provided by Mr. Gores, Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem, and the Detroit Pistons Foundation to support the Industry Club program. It includes a $300,000 grant over the course of three years and will focus on providing workforce experience for young people interested in pursuing a career in the sports, esports, and entertainment industry.

As part of the partnership and donation, 50 BGCSM Club youth with have an opportunity to participate in the Pistons official draft pick press announcement on-site at the Pistons Practice Facility.

Detroit Red Wings team up with The Children’s Foundation to deliver year-round programming

As part of their landmark Learn, Play, Score program, the Detroit Red Wings are teaming up with The Children’s Foundation and BGCSM to introduce Esports + Hockey. The program will provide year-round hockey connectivity for young BGCSM members across metro Detroit through hands-on learning experiences, esports engagement, and workforce development. Additional details about this program will be announced later.

“The Red Wings are excited to continue growing the impact of Learn, Play, Score in the city of Detroit through the Esports + Hockey program with The Children’s Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan,” said Kevin Brown, director of community impact for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. “We can’t wait to announce the details of this groundbreaking, year-round interactive program soon.”

Tyler ‘‘Ninja‘‘ Blevins & Blevins Charitable Fund enhances esports in Detroit

Michigan native, entrepreneur, and professional gamer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, will sponsor the Ninja Esports Lounge at the Matilda R. Wilson Boys & Girls Clubs location in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Industry Club space will become a world-class hub for youth to discover and develop their passion for esports while getting paid to explore careers and content monetization strategies as entrepreneurs.

“As someone who grew up around Detroit, I’m so excited to be a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan’s new Sports and Entertainment Industry Club,” said Tyler Blevins. “Gaming has obviously impacted my life, and now I get to support youth coming to the Club that is interested in gaming or in exploring the many different career pathways the industry has to offer. I hope they’re inspired to dream big, knowing they have the tools they need to help make their dreams a reality.”

Construction for the Esports lounge is planned to begin in early August and be completed in October 2021.

Sean Anderson Foundation 2nd production studio location

Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF), founded by national recording artist and Detroit-native Big Sean and his mother Myra Anderson, have been active early adopters of the BGCSM Reimagine initiative. The foundation donated in 2019 for the first SAF Production Studio which opened its doors within the Dick & Sandy Dauch Club on Detroit’s west side. Since opening, the studio has served nearly 1,500 youth. The 2nd SAF Production Studio will be housed inside the Lloyd H. Diehl Club.

“Sean and I are excited to be able to support the opening of the second Sean Anderson Foundation Production Studio for the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan,” said Myra Anderson, Executive Director and President, Sean Anderson Foundation. “The Studio is an opportunity to expose youth, not only to the inner workings of the music industry, but to also assist them in their emotional, mental, and spiritual development.”

The Industry Club announcement day activities include an outdoor field day event for youth and adults, fireside chats, and a collection fashion show hosted at Foot Locker Detroit in Eastpointe, MI. Exclusive Collection will be sold at the Foot Locker Detroit location (17755 E 8 Mile Rd, Eastpointe, MI 48021) on Saturday, July 31st, 2021, and sold in-store and online at detroitisthenewblack.com.

Written by
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