(Greenwood, South Carolina) A dream ten years in the making, NFL Pro Bowl cornerback and humanitarian Joshua R. Norman has partnered with The Boys & Girls Club of The Lakelands Region to launch the STARZ24 Teen Center, in his hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina. Norman raised $1.3 million dollars for the center that will officially open on Friday, February 26th, 2021. The STARZ24 Teen Center will provide a free, safe, and exciting place for youth for after-school activities and will offer a variety of enrichment, education, and sport programs during the summer.
The second youngest of five brothers, nicknamed “5 Strong,” Norman’s childhood was filled with simple pleasures and hard work. His parents separated at a young age, and his escape was the Seaboard Recreation Center and the YMCA, where they could swim, play basketball, football, and baseball from dusk till dawn. Norman’s mother Sandra worked incredibly hard to support her children and see to it that they had everything in her power necessary to fulfill their dreams. While his father, Roy, a pastor, instilled in Norman and his brothers the religious values of church and the importance of faith. The combination of these values are what drive Norman to continuously strive to give back and create opportunities for others worldwide.
“This is what we’re here on earth for. To help, to serve, and to live with a purpose. The STARZ24 Teen Center will serve thousands of children annually, provide opportunities of a lifetime, and most importantly supply outlets to help children follow their dreams. Everyone needs inspiration, something in which to aspire and look forward to. My greatest hope for the STARZ24 Teen Center is to provide the children of Greenwood a childhood experience of a lifetime.” – Josh Norman, Founder STARZ24
The STARZ24 Teen Center is a state of the art facility. Located in the Wakefield Building, named for former Principal James A. Wakefield; on the historic Brewer High School Campus, the Center has been given a 100 year lease for just $1 per year. The Brewer Normal School was established in 1872 as a school for African Americans, and served as a High School beginning in 1925 until 1970. The complex was last used as Brewer Middle School from 1993 until its closing in 2007. The school has many notable graduates that have made tremendous contributions to Greenwood County and throughout the United States.
The STARZ24 Teen Center can safely serve up to 150 youth daily, with that number increasing to 400 when conditions permit. Academic success, good character, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles will be the core program areas of the center which will feature a music and recording studio, game room, art studio, study lounge, and a café. Students will also have access to the technology center and gymnasium on the campus. Much of the equipment for the center has been realized through generous donations from the community.
“There has been a void in recreational and cultural opportunities since the closure of the old recreation center, and so the STARZ24 Teen Center will be the new social hub for our community.” – Brandon Smith, Mayor of Greenwood
To celebrate the opening, timed-entry tours of the center will be offered to the public on Saturday and Sunday, by registration only (must register to attend on STARZ24.org) and in accordance with strict COVID-19 safety measures and protocols: masks required and temperature checks upon entry.
Friday February 26th
12:00 pm Est – 2:30 pm Est – Private Ribbon Cutting (media allowed must rsvp)
By-invitation only: Elected officials, dignitaries and registered STARZ24 Teen Center members
Saturday February 27th
10:00 am Est– 5:00 pm Est
Tours of STARZ24 Teen Center for registered guest
Sunday February 28th
12:00 pm Est– 3:00 pm Est
Tours of STARZ24 Teen Center for registered guests
“I am so excited that the STARZ24 Teen Center will be open to serve youth in our community as we believe that it will be the premier place for teens! My daughters and I all grew up utilizing the services of Boys & Girls Clubs and so I know firsthand the impact that it can have and I can’t wait to share those experiences with teens in our community!” – Sabrina Miller, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lakelands Executive Director
The STARZ24 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded by humanitarian and philanthropist Joshua R. Norman. STARZ24 seeks to engage with global leaders and to sponsor programs which open pathways for children and youth to economic empowerment. STARZ24 seeks also to provide equal access to high quality and equitable education, while encouraging innovation, social entrepreneurship, and future generations of world leaders. The STARZ24 Foundation aims to create enrichment for children through community events & youth programs, inspiring them to become future leaders in science, technology, engineering, math, and the fine arts.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lakelands began providing after school services for youth in the Greenwood Community during the 2019-2020 school year. Since its inception, the agency has served more than 500 youth in their academic focused after school program and through their partnership with Greenwood County to assist in fostering youth basketball, football, volleyball and soccer leagues at the Brewer Complex. The agency provides site based after school and virtual learning programs to ensure that students have a safe place to learn and grow when school is out. Additionally, the agency manages the Brewer Recreation Center which provides access to programming and classroom space and is available for use by anyone in the community to participate in sewing, and exercise classes as well as a community gym and athletic fields.
For more information please visit https://www.STARZ24.org
STARZ24/Joshua R. Norman