KANSAS CITY, Mo. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his 87 & Running Foundation have announced plans to build a STEM lab for teens at Operation Breakthrough.
The laboratory will be called “Ignition Lab: Powered by 87 & Running” and will focus on serving high school students.
Kelce has been working with children on Operation Breakthrough for several years now, and he already sponsors non-profit robot programs.
And during the March pandemic, he donated all the food and supplies the breakthrough would need over the next 15 weeks “to keep it as usual for the kids.”
But now, just after signing a contract extension that will keep him with the Chiefs for another six years, Kelce said he has also resumed himself off the field.
He announced plans for the STEM lab in a social media post Friday night. It says:
Dear Kansas City,
Six more years, baby.
I could not begin to tell you how much this city means to me. You took me in seven years ago and made all my dreams come true!
I can not wait to give you another six seasons of everything I got when I take the field with my brothers.
But I also resume the work I have left to do the field. The amazing children I have seen growing up over the past seven years in KC̵
The vision is to give these teenagers in KC’s unoccupied neighborhood a safe heaven. A place where they are exposed to interests and role models far beyond the field or the court.
Children can not concentrate if they do not feel safe.
They can not imagine a career if they have never heard of or learn a skill they have never learned.
So with Operation Breakthrough, we’ll create this site.
I am proud to announce that I am purchasing the building that will be the home of the future for “Ignition Lab: Powered by 87 & Running” – a collaborative space where these teenagers will have the support, resources and opportunity to explore careers in STEM, launch their own entrepreneurial companies and gain experience from reality.
As a child, I was aware of how life looked different for everyone, but as a man, I am aware of the difference in opportunities, exposure and privilege I grew up with compared to others.
Where you live, the situation you were born into or your skin color should not have any effect on the dreams you can dream.
And it’s a beautiful thing when a child’s dream comes true.
A spokesman for Operation Breakthrough tells FOX4 that they are happy with the project and look forward to expanding their program to high school students.
“Ignition Lab: Powered by 87 & Running” is currently scheduled for an fall 2021 opening.
“From the first time Travis first came to Operation Breakthrough to read to our preschoolers to his most recent visit when he competed in robots with our robotics team, he has always been a good friend to our children,” said Operation Breakthrough CEO Mary Esselman.
“Travis is a wonderful representative of the Chiefs and the entire Kansas City community. We are happy about the Ignition Lab and the opportunities it will create for so many children when they enter high school. Through this initiative, Travis continues to champion the work of our founders, sisters Berta and Corita. “
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