First diagnosed with asthma at age 15, Jerome Bettis has joined with other world-class athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Amy Van Dyken, in the Asthma All-Stars Progam – to show that people with asthma can live without limits. Bettis also devotes considerable time and energy to his aptly named charitable The Bus Stops Here Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life for troubled and underprivileged children in America’s inner cities. The Pressley Ridge School in Pittsburgh helps abused troubled children take control of their future and head for the road to success.
The 1998 Bus Pass benefitted The Mel Blount Youth Home in Washington, PA; an organization that helps disadvantaged young men win the Super Bowl of Life. It was created by Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers Mel Blount. We are proud to announce that Jerome presented Mel Blount with a check for $10,000.
Nineteen ninety-eight also marked the first “Dreams Come True – Trip of A Lifetime” program, awarded annually to a terminally ill child and their family. The first recipient of this program was Anthony Scales, Jr. of Detroit, Michigan. Little Anthony has a severe brain tumor and the foundation sent him and his family to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL for 5 days and 4 nights.
In June 1999, Jerome and his foundation held their first Football Camp and Celebrity Golf Classic. This was all a part of the Jerome Bettis Sports Celebrity Week in Detroit. The events were a great success. Among Jerome’s invited guest were Gilbert Brown Keith McKenzie -Green Bay Packers, Tim Lester-Dallas Cowboys, Orlando Pace – St.Louis Rams, Michael Westbrook – Washington Redskins, Pepper Johnson – New York Jets, Ron Rice – Detroit Lions, Robert Griffith – Minnesota Vikings, Ryan McNeil – St. Louis Rams, and Kordell Stewart and Pete Gonzalez of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As we entered into the new millennium The Jerome Bettis “Bus Stops Here” Foundation a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization has continued to develop into a world-class Foundation constantly redefining our mission, which is to improve the overall quality of life for troubled and underprivileged children by offering the opportunities to help them succeed in life.
The Foundation believes that the first step towards self-sufficiency must consist of a strong moral foundation. On this foundation, self-esteem, responsibility, education and ultimately, employability are built.
The Foundation’s contribution to youth consists primarily of providing a climate where they feel wanted and accepted by peers and adults and where they are assisted in acquiring and applying the skills related to meeting their goals. Through the hard work of the Foundation, we are presenting possibilities and creating opportunities. We are trying to change old perceptions to create a “right here, right now attitude”.
We are proud to be providing programs, activities, and services that continue to help youngsters reach their goals. We would like to provide at-risk youth with resources to learn to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy choices. The programs will focus on health and nutrition, social living skills and drug awareness and prevention. The future is in young people’s hands – let’s give them the proper tools to shape a better tomorrow.
Disadvantaged youth need to know that there is someone who is concerned about the things that are going on in their lives. By providing professional and emotional support, through our programs we hope to build trust and confidence in our youth participants. Reducing isolation, providing positive role models parental interaction skills and crisis intervention will be the primary tools used to achieve success in their lives. The Foundation’s contribution to youth consists primarily of providing a climate where they feel wanted and accepted by peers and adults and where they are assisted in acquiring and applying the skills related to meeting their goals. Through the hard work of the Foundation, we are presenting possibilities and creating opportunities. We are trying to change old perceptions to create a right here, right now attitude.
“The Cyber Bus” Computer Engineering Program “Jerome’s All Stars” is a computer-building program designed to bridge the digital divide. In collaboration with Duquesne University and Pittsburgh Public Schools, this program engages students in building, configuring, and programming their own computer, which they take ownership of and share with their parents and siblings. “Jerome believes that if you give a student a computer he/she will play video games all day, teach students how to build a computer and he/she will be technology-savvy for life”.
Improve Your Reading Program seeks to motivate elementary school students to realize the importance of reading. The Foundation’s goal is that children will learn that through reading they can view the world.
The Athletes at Risk College Admission Preparation ACT/SAT Program assists athletes of both genders in preparing for their college admission examination, positioning the students to qualify for an NCAA Scholarship. This program was expanded in 2006 to include non-athlete students as well.
“A Life Without Limit” Program is an educational asthma awareness video to encourage and educate children to learn how to better manage their asthma, help prevent symptoms, and reduce the health and lifestyle limitations often caused by the disease.