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OAKLAND, Sept. 9, 2020—

After a rigorous application process, SPAAT is thrilled to announce that it is a recipient of a 2-year grant from the San Francisco 49ers. This grant will be used to support SPAAT’s cause of advancing racial justice through education in Oakland. 

Funds from the 49ers will be used to support the expansion of SPAAT’s College and Career Sports Performance Initiative (CCSPI), a district wide collaborative initiative spanning across 8 middle and high schools in the Oakland Unified School District. Because ninety percent of the students in CCSPI are African-American and receive free-and-reduced lunch, the funding from this grant will advance SPAAT’s continuing efforts to promote social, racial, and educational justice. 

This award will also help improve the quality of CCSPI’s wrap around support services and allow for the build out of virtual platforms to connect to students and develop a COVID Response Plan that aligns with the district’s Distance Learning Plan.

SPAAT’s CEO Harold Pearson says, “SPAAT was founded in 2003 to to end the athletic exploitation of Black students and athletes in education by empowering them to envision life beyond sports.

Funds from the San Francisco 49ers will enable SPAAT to further develop the next generation of leaders through the College & Career Sports Performance Initiative, which provides wrap-around support for student-athletes at every high school and middle school in Oakland.”

SPAAT is proud to be the recipient of this grant in support of its mission to fight for educational-and-social justice in the Bay Area community. 

Operation HOPE & SPAAT

On September 15, SPAAT was also fortunate to have the opportunity to kick off the 49ers’ season-long community partnership with the Operation HOPE Youth Workshop, held in partnership with US Bank. Together, the community partnership provided a virtual financial coaching session to support the economic advancement of youth at McClymonds, Skyline, Oakland Tech High Schools and Westlake Middle School. 

Read the full story here!


The Student Program for Athletic & Academic Transitioning (SPAAT) is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that uses the power of sport to systematically transform lives at the individual level and to create positive change in the greater community. This mission of SPAAT is to increase the number of students and athletes prepared for success in college, careers, and life after sports. SPAAT’s programs serve students ages 12-19 who are passionate about their sport but struggle academically. The innovative curriculum creates a college-environment culture and provides student-athletes with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions about their academic futures. Each year, SPAAT makes a life-changing difference to hundreds of Bay Area student-athletes, and, since 2003, has assisted student-athletes in securing millions of dollars in collegiate academic and athletic scholarships.

About the San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers, owned by Denise and John York, currently play in the NFC West division and have won five Super Bowl trophies including Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. The franchise also has seven conference championships and 20 divisional championships and was the first major league professional sports team to be based in San Francisco more than 70 years ago. In recognition of their unparalleled commitment to the community, the 49ers were the winners of the ESPN Humanitarian Sports Team of the Year in 2017 and the Beyond Sport 2015 Sport Team of the Year. The 49ers objective is to provide support to national and local Bay Area nonprofit organizations who are currently engaged in effective strategies for improving racial equity, with a focus on the African-American community, in three key areas: (1) policing, (2) the criminal justice system beyond policing, and (3) education and economic opportunity.