What does it mean to be in your “prime”? Healthy, determined, successful, educated, strong – all these words come to mind. For many, though, it’s a constant struggle to find their prime, or even imagine it.
At Stand Together, we believe everyone has the gifts, talents, and potential to find their prime. But, many face nearly impassable barriers along the way. From a struggle with addiction, a criminal record and the stigma that comes with it, to a broken family, crippling debt, and lack of access to education – these obstacles stand in the way of men, women, and children finding their prime.
That’s why we’re partnering with Deion Sanders, widely known as “Prime Time,” to help individuals in Dallas facing the greatest barriers to success find their prime not just today, but for life. Prime 5 is an initiative of Stand Together to help revitalize the Dallas community and help those hit hardest by poverty improve their lives.
A man committed to serving and investing in others, Deion Sanders sets an example of community leadership and personal transformation.
Who is Deion Sanders?
For many, he may mostly be known for his athletic prowess – a Hall of Famer who is the only athlete to ever play in both the Super Bowl and World Series during an illustrious two-sport career. But it all began in Fort Myers, Florida when a six-year-old boy made a promise to his mother, Connie Knight. He promised that he’d grow up and provide her with a better life outside of the Jones Walker Palm Gardens Apartments – a section 8 housing complex, aka the projects. Mrs. Knight has spent her life giving what she could to her birth children, foster children, and others in need. Deion learned from his mother that giving back is the ultimate expression of love and respect.
From his birth father, Mims “Daddy Buck” Sanders, he inherited the life-long influence of flash, personality, and learned the dangers of drug abuse. His stepfather, Willie Knight, gifted him with the life-long influence of hard work and discipline, and he demonstrated the dangers of alcohol addiction. On one side, he used flash and personality to market his value in a competitive sports culture so he could earn the means to fulfill his promise to his mother. On the other side, he used hard work and discipline to maximize his God-given talent and abilities and reach his prime. Once his Pop Warner Coach, Dave Capel, exposed him to the world outside of Fort Myers, Deion harnessed aspiration as his fuel to success. By avoiding the vices that afflicted other men in his life, he’s beaten the odds when so many of his friends, family, and former teammates have faltered.
Deion Sanders humbly and vividly remembers the challenges and opportunities in his upbringing that now serve at the core of his philanthropy. He’s driven by a strong desire to provide guardianship, mentoring, coaching, and educational opportunities to young men and women who face the greatest barriers to prosperity. He’s a social entrepreneur in his service to those with lesser means by routinely giving his own time, hard work, and financial resources.
The Courage to Lead
Stand Together believes some of the most important work being done in America today is the result of individuals and organizations solving problems in their communities. Deion Sanders has spent over 30 years leveraging his reputation and financial resources to help transform the lives of students and families. When he stated his desire to partner with Stand Together, our leadership didn’t ask why. Already understanding our shared vision and virtues for a better country, they asked how. Deion humbly shared with Stand Together and our broader network of leaders, “I’ve done some wonderful things individually in my life, but the most important things that I can recall have always been in teams.”
Answering the call, we’re teaming up with Coach Prime in support of his ongoing efforts to grow the scope and reach of his impact in Dallas. Together, we’re raising $21 million to strengthen the Dallas community and help people improve their lives.
When We Stand Together. We Win Together.
Deion Sanders’ witness to the pervasiveness of poverty drives his efforts to invest in others, encouraging men, women, and particularly youth that, with the help of community, we can all be in our prime.
What can you and I do to invest ourselves in those we love who are ailing from the pains of joblessness, poor education, addiction and trauma, financial stress, or a broken family support system?
Join our efforts to find out how you can help people find their prime. Go to Prime5.org for more information.