Our 1st BOSS™ Weekend, a celebration of the power of sport to change live and the annual fundraiser for “BOSS” was a huge success. BOSS is the signature program of ESP Education & Leadership Institute, and a year-round, multi-year “process” that uses sports to get young men to NOT focus only on sports”, was a huge success.

Our BOSS™ Weekend would not have been a success without the support of volunteers and sponsors headed by our Platinum sponsors Long Beach Marriott and the Los Angeles Rams and including Bit Connect, DICK’s Sporting Goods, Essentia Water, the Port of Long Beach, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Kiewit, Turner Construction, Avanath, Alvarado, Smith LLP, Choice Technical Services, Sotheby’s, University Trophies, Panini, Chick-fil- A, Long Beach Transit and EAT.

We kicked things off on Friday, January 26 with the BOSS Awards and welcomed nearly 300 business, civic and sports industry leaders to the beautiful Long Beach Marriott for an amazing evening that included acknowledging 4 individuals for their personal and professional success and the impact each of them continues to have in the community beyond and/or through sports, fellowship, networking and renewing acquaintances. Hosted by the irrepressible Ramsey Jay, the evening’s activities also included moving testimonies by BOSS student-athletes including Jakob Brannon, Marcus Frasier, Kevin Longstreet, Tavien Spurling and Makiah Williams. Entertainment was provided by the young, vibrant saxophonist Jay Boykin and vocalist Tamara Edwards, accompanied by the Max Dopulous & Friends trio.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the BOSS™ Awards

Seen at the Scene: Inglewood Mayor, James Butts; Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Clarence Shields; former Michigan State and Carolina Panthers great turned private equity investor, Mushin Muhammad; Former Vice-Mayor and Former Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Doris-Topsy- Elvord and husband Ralph; Long Beach Philanthropists and former Long Beach State department chair, Mike Walter and wife Ailene Walter; Huntington Beach Finance Director/LB Harbor Commission Secretary, Lori Ann Guzman, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science President, David M. Carlisle; Drew General Counsel; John Patton; Drew’s Hector Balcazar, Ph.D.; Rams Vice President of Community Affairs & Engagement, Molly Higgins; ESPN’s Shelley Smith; Kiewit Human Resource & Training Manager, Tanya Stukes; Long Beach Deputy City Manager Reggie Harrison; former Rams’ greats Harold Jackson and Joe Sweet; former Patriots running back Robert Weathers; the University of Michigan’s first Black quarterback and Heisman trophy finalist, Dennis Franklin; former University of Michigan basketball player turned Avanath founder and CEO, Daryl Carter; CTI Environmental CEO Robin Thorne; San Diego Charger Senior Director of Player Engagement, Arthur Hightower; former USC and NFL defensive back Will Poole; former USC and NFL linebacker Thomas Williams; Munzer Foundation board member and Sotheby agent, Liz Munzer; CIF Southern Section Commission Rob Wigod; Comerica Vice President Donald Kincey; and Bit Connect’s Dee Duncan.

On Saturday, we welcomed 150 middle school student athletes to the Pointe at the Pyramid for an overview of our game-changing BOSS™ “process”. The full day of activities also included a “speed dating” type atmosphere where students and mentors (representative list at this link) explored ways to leverage sports participation to achieve academic and life success and consider what it takes to pursue the many different non-playing career. The highlight of the day was an inspiration message by 10x NBA champion (1 as player; 9 as assistant coach) and former Lakers 1 st round draft pick and assistant coach, Jim Cleamons. The day ended with a tour of the Long Beach State campus.

With our first fundraising weekend behind us, our focus returns to the boys and the year-round component of the “process” from the College of Business on the Long Beach State campus, including mentoring, real world experiences and opportunities for advocacy and service.