CAMBRIDGE - Many high profile athletes have decided to use their status and their wealth for a good cause. Athletes like Tim Tebow, LeBron James, and J.J. Watt use their privilege for good by establishing foundations or pouring large amounts of their wealth into all sorts of charities.
One current Boston star who's dedicated to using his influence for good is Boston Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown. Brown's interests are wide and varied, and many believed that his intelligence was his best asset ahead of the 2016 NBA Draft. An outspoken critic of Donald Trump, Brown is also known to share documentary videos to his YouTube channel.
In June, Brown was named one of 2019's Director's Fellows for the MIT Media Lab, and Brown has decided to use his position there to work at improving the American educational system.
In a statement, Brown said, "The goal is to build a scholastic bridge connecting from higher university to our low-income community, reconstructing our education system one step at a time." Brown's particularly concerned with the prevalence of standardized testing, which he believes has undue influence over children's lives. He instead favors a more individualized approach, focusing instead on a student's individual interests and talents and giving them tools to foster them, rather than measuring them against a standard. Brown is a proud graduate of Berkley, which he chose over other colleges with better basketball programs for its academic rigor,and knows the benefit of a good education.
If Brown's initial efforts prove that success is more a matter of access to resources than it is based on any other test result or quality, he may just succeed in changing the educational system - and how it views student achievement - for good.
Image via Wikimedia / Keith Allison