Dwight Howard is more than a basketball player. He’s even more than a philanthropist. The Atlanta Hawks center doesn’t just donate his money in the hopes of making the world a better place, he truly embodies the spirit of giving back. Through Howard’s D12 Foundation, the basketball star has been making efforts not only to “facilitate positive change in the lives of American youth”, but also to empower the schoolgirls of Tanzania by providing them with the educational resources needed to succeed.
Photo: D12 Foundation “One of the things that I was told was that it’s very hard for women to go to school, and when they do there’s a danger of them being raped or kidnapped and all sorts of things happening with them getting to school,” Howard told the Huffington Post. “That didn’t sit too well with me. And so I just want to do my part to help these women with the opportunity to go to school and learn.” Within the last 15 years, close to 50,000 girls in Tanzania lacked adequate educational resources because of early pregnancies. Aiding the schoolgirls falls in line with D12’s Early Childhood Education & Literacy “ripple effect” which is designed to improve higher graduation rates, provide access to employment, reduce crime and drug abuse along with lowering incarceration odds.
Photo: D12 Foundation “This is something that I was put on this earth for, to give back. And I think the best thing you can do with your time is to give,” he said. “For me, just to see these kids grow and go in the right direction it fills my heart with joy.” Howard launched the D12 Foundation in February of 2011 and has watched the organization succeed tremendously. “A basketball career for me is great, but there’s a time where that basketball career will be over. These kid’s lives can change forever. And that’s something that will continue to go on even after I’m done playing basketball. So I’m doing anything I can for the community and anything I can for the world ― makes me feel a lot better.”