Half a year ago, Lake Nona resident Clirvaens Pressoir founded the No Child Left Behind Sports and Arts Foundation to help local kids and their parents afford to play youth sports. Nonahood News spoke to Pressoir, a father himself, about his foundation and how it all got started.
Nonahood News: So, can you tell me a little bit about what the foundation does?
Clirvaens Pressoir: I started it in Lake Nona after my daughter asked me to help her friend who needed help financially and with [instruction]. I think that playing sports is the best thing that kids can do. It keeps them out of trouble, and it doesn’t matter what color or race you are.
Lake Nona is a place that is healthy and wealthy, but there are a lot of kids whose parents aren’t financially blessed enough to pay for the sports they want. I try to look for donations to help the kids and make their dreams come true. And from there, we try to push to get them a scholarship at the next level.
NHN: How did the foundation get started?
CP: About six months ago, I got the attention of a couple of the parents in the community, and they liked what I was doing. They saw that I had helped with my own money, and they said, “Well, this seems like a good thing, so we’ll help you, too.”
We opened it as a nonprofit organization. Katiusca, my right-hand person, and I go to different places and try to find donations. It’s hard, but we work really hard.
NHN: How do you try to find donors?
CP: We visit businesses around here, and we send letters. It’s my vision to get money for those kids who cannot afford it. I know that it’s easier to play for a college because you get a scholarship, but when you’re a kid, every sport around here costs some money. Parents work extra hard, sometimes two or three jobs, but still don’t have extra money.
So, I talk to different schools and tell them what I’m doing and ask if they have anybody they can send to me. Like at Lake Nona Middle School, I try to help there, too – like with the volleyball team – I want to find kids who like what they’re doing and want to dedicate themselves to what they’re doing. I’ll call them to see if they’re someone [that qualifies] and if they really want it, and then we try to help them financially.
We also do fundraising and volunteering to help the community, and the kids go with us to homeless shelters to help them. I’m working on a program right now to help homeless people get coats – we’re going to collect those to donate downtown. I’m trying to raise about 100 coats to help out downtown.
NHN: What are the age ranges of the kids you’re working with right now?
CP: I have a girl who’s 18 – she’s blessed, she signed with a college, Florida Southwestern. The youngest one we’ve been helping is 14. I don’t see a lot of kids who need help in elementary school, but when you get to middle school, [that’s] where I see a lot of trouble.
NHN: What are your fundraising goals?
CP: We’ve raised around $3,000 so far. I’m planning on doing a couple of events, like a golf tournament. I only recently officially registered the foundation, so maybe we can get more help now and the community can hear about it. We need to raise around $3,000 for just one of the girls, and then another $2,000 for another.