When two University of Maryland (UMD) Football players, Beau Brade and Dante Trader, co-founded ONE SPEED Entertainment, they identified their mission as, “whatever you are doing, give it your best effort with no dilution.” Beau, Dante, and teammate Ruben Hyppolite, use ONE SPEED as a platform to produce content on sports, life experience, and pop culture. Yet, as their organization grew, these football players wanted to find a way to leverage ONE SPEED to make a social and community impact. For UMD student athletes, showing “heart” during the preparation for their season has always meant giving back to the community. It was an easy leap from there to create the Got Your Back campaign which benefits the children in programs at The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF). “Giving back to the community and the younger generation is where my heart is. People paid it forward for me when I was younger, and now I am in the position to do the same” says Dante, a Junior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Dante, Beau, and Reuben then reached out to UMD alumna Dahlia Levin, NCCF’s Director of Development and External Relations, who encouraged them to focus their efforts on a Back-To-School Drive. The three young entrepreneurs took it from there, creating flyers, involving coaches, classmates, teammates, and their personal and professional social media accounts. In the past 6 weeks ONE SPEED has raised nearly $10,000 dollars and signed on to become an Ambassador for NCCF’s Neediest Kids program serving the poorest children in the Prince George’s County School System.
Beau Brade, a Senior at The Robert Smith School of Business, explains the vision behind Got Your Back. “One of the biggest challenges these children face is the lack of essential school supplies, including backpacks. Many of the families NCCF works with are struggling financially, and purchasing backpacks and school supplies can be an additional burden for them. This initiative is important to us because we want students to know the community has their back. We hope it will inspire some kids to strive for goals that seem impossible. They can be D1 athletes like us, or be doctors, anything they can dream of. Got Your Back lets them know they won’t be defined, and their dreams won’t be restricted based on where they live.”
Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman, Executive Director of NCCF says, “It is so reassuring to engage young adults who balance their professional and career ambitions with compassion and concern for others who do not experience the same opportunities. It is proof that these young leaders have our back.”
The final push of their drive has been going all week and will culminate in a giveaway in D.C. tomorrow. This community event will take place from 12:00-2:00 PM on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at J.C. Nalle Elementary School (219 50th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20019 – upper field behind the school).