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Growing up in Kalamazoo, Mich., New York Yankees captain, shortstop, and four-time World Series Champion, Derek Jeter and his younger sister Sharlee, witnessed firsthand the value of community service. Their father, Charles, has a Ph.D. in sociology and spent several years counseling patients with alcohol and drug issues. Their mother, Dorothy, was a fixture at PTA meetings, school functions and sporting events. In addition, Derek's favorite ballplayer, former Bronx Bomber Dave Winfield, had his own foundation which promoted health, literacy and self-esteem among thousands of young people. "When I make it," Derek told his family, "that's what I'm going to do."
It didn't take long for him to keep that promise. In June 1996 while sharing a pizza in a Detroit hotel room, Derek, just 22, told his father he was ready for his own charity. Then and there, they laid plans for the Turn 2 Foundation, an effort that would work to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol.
Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grants to create and support programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol, and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Derek chose to concentrate his efforts in West Michigan where he grew up, New York City, where he works, and Hillsborough County, Fla., where he lives. Derek's goal is to guide kids in the right direction and help them become the leaders of tomorrow. Through the Turn 2 Foundation, he can take his passion for youth and his desire to give back to the community and mobilize it into a very positive force. The Foundation uses this force to support programs that promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement and leadership development among youth.
Derek is honored and privileged to have both of his parents and his sister, sit on the Board of Directors for the Foundation. Charles Jeter serves as vice chairman, Dorothy Jeter as treasurer, and Sharlee Jeter as president. The Jeter family is proud of what has been accomplished through Turn 2. The positive impact on the youth it serves is evident in the many letters received. It is the family's belief to always be grateful and give back. They are genuinely concerned about young people because when they fail, so much potential is destroyed. By working together, they know they can help some very special kids fulfill their dreams and achieve everything they desire.
In addition to contributing his own funds, Derek hosts his annual Derek Jeter Celebrity Golf Classic in Tampa, Fla., and the Turn 2 Foundation Dinner in New York City to raise capital needed to successfully continue his many signature programs including Jeters Leaders, Turn 2 Us Healthy Lifestyles, Turn 2 After School, Turn 2 Baseball Clinics, Proud To Be Me, Turn 2 Smart Moves, Holiday Express and the Turn 2 Endowed Scholarships. Recently, the Turn 2 Foundation donated $500,000 to launch the Derek Jeter Academy at Phoenix House in Tampa, an outpatient counseling center for troubled teens combining individual and family substance abuse treatment.
"Derek wants to set a good example, he wants to be a role model," says Charles. "Seeing that, as his father, I'm extremely proud." If you would like more information, are interested in participating in the various programs sponsored by the Turn 2 Foundation, or would like to lend your support to this very worthwhile cause, please contact the Foundation at:
Turn 2 Foundation, Inc.
215 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10003