Josh Norman, a 29-year old cornerback for Washington’s NFL team, is bringing hope and help to the youth of the Washington, D.C. area by opening a branch of his foundation in the city. Norman’s Starz24 foundation was founded in his hometown of Greenwood, S.C. The foundation works to bring youth enrichment programs to disadvantaged children.

Washington Quarterback Josh Norman launched his Starz24 foundation in D.C. on June 13. (Photo by Michael Wertheim)

On June 13, the foundation launched – in its second market – at The Hawthorne, located on the city’s iconic U Street in northwest D.C.

Sean Cox, the foundation’s marketing communications manager, says Norman spoke with students at Jefferson Middle School Academy in Southwest, D.C. on April 27 to stress the importance of education, hard work, and determination. According to Cox, Norman uses Starz24 to show students they can achieve their goals despite the environment or social economic class they are in. “He wants to now help kids in that direction, and to be smarter with their time. That’s really the big thing,” Cox told the AFRO.

Starz24 provides enrichment programs and character development activities using sports and educational programming and events, including school assemblies and goal-setting sessions, to get kids to think about their future. There are also volunteer drives to provide children with backpacks and school supplies.

“The goal is to have . . . a takeaway,” Cox said. “Not necessarily just that momentary motivation, but to really plant a seed in these kids that using Josh as an example or using other people as an example where hard work, team work, leadership, focus, drive, can get you in.”

Until recently, Norman self-funded the foundation’s events and programs with help from some small, local, in-kind donations. However, according to his communications team, as the foundation expanded, Norman has been able to develop a donations team to gather funds and expand outreach.

According to Cox, the foundation focuses on youth in underserved areas. Starz24 has successfully raised $30,000 for programming for the D.C. area youth. According to Cox, the funds will be delegated for a back-to-school program to help provide school supplies to children in need for the 2017-2018 school year. “There is a lot of need in our community and I’m here to make sure the kids have resources and the motivation to excel in school and life,” Norman told guest at the launch event.