PORTLAND, Ore. (September 13, 2017) – Since his Rip City arrival in 2012, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has placed a high priority on positive interactions with fans, especially students in the area’s public schools. As the new 2017-18 school year begins, Lillard is unveiling a re-energized RESPECT program focusing on core values through respectful behavior by students.
Portland’s Roosevelt High School and Parkrose High School have been specifically chosen as partners to engage students, teachers and administrators with Lillard’s desire to positively influence the lives of young people. Like Lillard’s play on the court and his influence outside the game of basketball, the new RESPECT program represents the next-level development of a strategy to identify, encourage and reward students committed to success.
“The key to reaching your goals is to grow each year, reaching higher and working harder every step of the way,” said Lillard. “I’ve always defined success as trying to be the best version of myself, and positively impacting as many lives as possible. Through the new focus of RESPECT for this school year, I hope we’re able to positively influence the behavior of all students at Roosevelt and Parkrose high schools, and maybe beyond.”
RESPECT carries many of the same student-focused motivations Lillard envisioned with earlier versions of the program dating back to his rookie season. The new curriculum, however, steers students to:
- Show Up – Arriving on time each day ready to engage and learn shows respect for your family and teachers.
- Work Hard – Working hard and doing your best shows respect for yourself and your future.
- Be Kind – Being kind, showing respect and valuing the differences in others.
RESPECT will launch with assembles at both schools to communicate the new challenge to students and Lillard’s expectations of the program. Throughout the year, teachers and counselors will be empowered to reward students who have embodied the principles of RESPECT with tickets to Trail Blazers games; Damian Lillard adidas merchandise; and other special giveaways.
“We are thrilled to have Damian Lillard and RESPECT as part of our students’ experience this year,’ said Parkrose Principal Molly Ouche. “Damian’s positive role modeling and leadership will help make Parkrose High School and Parkrose students even better by providing opportunities and experiences to reinforce showing up, working hard and being kind. We appreciate his level of involvement and commitment to this work.” “We are very excited about the RESPECT program and how it can positively influence our students. And we’re are so appreciative to Damian, who has demonstrated a commitment to improve the lives of everyone in our school community,” said Roosevelt Principal Filip Hristic. “Through collaboration with Damian and his RESPECT program, we will be utilizing the support Damian has to offer to increase school engagement and ultimately our graduation rate. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to the rollout this fall.”
For more information on RESPECT, please visit www.trailblazers.com/respect.