They Get It

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Sometimes it can seem that the only thing we hear about collegiate athletics has to do with performance on the field, court, or pitch. Or we hear about negative behaviors.

And there can be extreme cynicism in the term student-athlete.

But I'd like to tell you about Alade Aminu, a 6'10" senior forward at Georgia Tech. He is from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain GA. I was watching Georgia Tech play Clemson on Sunday, and I heard a brief mention of Aminu that had nothing to do with hoops.

Aminu has founded a non-profit organization called Brotherhood of the World. Together with his younger brother and some of his teammates, Aminu provides mentoring and tutoring to the youth in his community.

I took the mission statement directly from the website.

Brotherhood of the World was founded in March of 2008. Our mission is to tap into the generous spirit of athletes and other caring individuals by developing opportunities to give back to the community; through a volunteer program specifically focused on underprivileged youths and children. These programs enable us to interact with them to help provide them with the necessary skills, tools, and resources for conducting themselves successfully in life. We embrace family values as well as fellowship and camaraderie. Through these values, we want to help motivate the youth to set and achieve high goals in education, in the community and ultimately their lives. We understand that they really look up to us as positive influences and we hope to build bonds that will serve the young forever. While our primary target is the youth, we also advocate ideas and programs for combating homelessness and trying to enhance the lives of the less fortunate.

This foundation is rooted in Atlanta, but will have future partnerships and growth throughout the country and eventually the world.

I encourage you to go to the website. I searched through page after page and only found one mention of Aminu on the home page. This organization isn't the vanity of a star athlete. This young man has a genuine passion and commitment to service. I listened to him speak about his program here.

Something is going right. There are young people out there who get it. And they are dedicating themselves to their communities. By doing so, they pass on the spirit of service to the youth they mentor and tutor. And those youth develop that same sense of community service, first by emulating those who took interest in them.

Then those kids mature and take service into their hearts and minds, mentoring and tutoring a new generation. This is how we spread hope and opportunity. This is how we make life better.

This is how we enrich the world.


  1. That's a pretty cool thing to do. Good for him! :)

  1. Jeni says:

    Maybe his organization will catch on and spread to other areas around the country too -a great thing for kids to have a place to gather, learn, exercise and grow in mind, as well as in body.

  1. It is refreshing, encouraging and inspiring when we find someone with a love for his fellow man! They're out there and it is because of them that I still have great hope!

  1. Anonymous says:

    That's what sports is all about!

  1. I think there are more folks out there with a dedication to service than most people realize. They just tend to be quiet about it =)

  1. I've been very heartened by the wave of athletes who are being taught by example and then pay forward that generosity that they are in wonderful positions to do great things. I love that they show true character and strength of spirit.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Very commendable :)

  1. Bond says:

    Thanks for making us aware of this happy to hear of a young man who has put others ahead of himself and not have to hear about another fight in a bar

  1. It's so enlightening to see our athletes of today bonding with the youth and encouraging them to take the right path in life. Thanks for letting us know about this, Travis!

  1. Cherie says:

    Sounds like a great kid and a great program!

  1. I actually have a great deal of confidence in the emerging generation...

    I'd be willing to bet we hear more about Alade Aminu in the years to come.

    thanks for telling us!

  1. Amen! I wish the "gangsta thug" type of athletes would be forced to check out this guy and follow in his footprints. Too bad he doesn't get the press that the bad eggs do...

  1. It is sad that, in today's society, the extraordinary GOOD things that collegiate student-athletes are doing are overlooked for those who are doing nothing but looking for the easy road to becoming rich.

    Thanks for sharing such a great story.

  1. Kanani says:

    I'm hopeful that his generation will be a lot more charitable than others. Maybe it's the silver lining of this economic depression --people are coming up with new ways to reach out and are realizing that the rampant materialism of the last two decades didn't buy happiness or sustainability.

  1. Merelyme says:

    This is wonderful to hear about. I get such inspiration from those who are striving to make a difference. Thank you for telling us about him.

  1. Travis says:

    Terra: He definitely understands his priorities.

    Nick: As do I!

    Jeni: From the way he talks about his business, I think he's got a good shot at succeeding.

    WT4W: They are out there, and probably in greater numbers than we suspect or hear about.

    Lois: He's certainly giving back.

    Charles: Agreed.

    Starr: You're right. True service isn't about the recognition, it's about helping out.

    Songbird: It should be the norm, and maybe it is becoming so.

    Akelamalu: It is.

    V: We need to hear these positive stories to curb our cynicism about young people, and about athletes in particular.

    Tookie: Some of these kids don't have positive male role models. It's good to see young men responding to that lack and trying to fill it.

    Mimi: Me too!

    Cherie: I believe he is.

    Katherine: I think you'd be right with that bet.

    Gracie: We've got to search out these nuggets of positive service and share them.

    Southern: You're right. These kids are out there though, and they are making service cool and exposing negative behavior as the work of fools.

    Kanani: Well said.

    Merelyme: It is inspirational.