NBA star Russell Westbrook is paying it forward in his hometown of LA in a big way following the recent launch of his tech education program.
According to Bleacher Report, the Houston Rockers player recently launched a new STEM education program for at-risk teens in Los Angeles that aims at diversifying the emerging talent within the growing industry. The program— named the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program—provides engineering, coding and computer literacy classes for teens that prepare them for careers in the tech space.
The initiative serves through a triple collaboration between Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation, the LA Conservation Corps, and philanthropist Chad Brownstein. Westbrook says the inspiration behind the project came from the lack of programs that were available to him while he was coming of age in L.A.
“I feel like this particular program actually impacts the kids’ futures, impacts their mind, the mentality of where they grew up, where they’re from,” he said in a statement. “I definitely can relate to that because I feel like I was one of those kids growing up in the city of Los Angeles and finding my way, figuring out what was the best path for me.”
Westbrook’s philanthropic efforts come at the same time NBA Champion Kawhi Leonard vowed to donate one million backpacks to underprivileged youth in the SoCal area through the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Baby2Baby and the L.A. Clippers Foundation.
“Going to the NBA, this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to give back to my community,” said Leonard. “That’s why I’m so happy to be back home. I’m able to be hands-on in the community where I grew up and where it started for me.”