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From Winger to Educator: How Raheem Sterling is Giving Back to His Community

From Winger to Educator: How Raheem Sterling is Giving Back to His Community

Raheem Sterling has been playing at the top of English football for nearly a decade now. He’s won nearly everything there is to win as a player and is now trying to evolve as a human being by being involved in more charitable activities.

Like many of his fellow footballers, Sterling is focused on giving back to society and creating opportunities for those who are undergoing the struggles he did as a child.

Sterling was a street footballer during his school days and studied at Vernon House, a school specifically for children with behavioural difficulties.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica – Sterling never got to see his dad – who was shot dead when he was still very young.

His mother worked tirelessly to give him and his siblings a decent livelihood, but Sterling did not have it easy as a tiny child in a rough neighbourhood.

Football was his escape from the challenges in his life and he managed to excel at it.

Now he’s one of the most easily-recognized footballers in the UK – playing for one of the biggest Premier League clubs Chelsea.

However, while Sterling aims to further excel in his footballing career as well – the Englishman is also looking for ways to help those who aren’t as privileged as him now.

Sterling’s own charitable foundation – the Raheem Sterling Foundation – which was launched in 2021, strives to help young people achieve the best that they can be.

The 28-year-old has recently partnered with the University of Manchester as well as the King’s College to help young Black, African or Caribbean teenagers from under-represented backgrounds.

Basically, the Foundation aims to help underprivileged students get their chance at achieving their dreams and completing educational degrees that can come as too expensive for them.

As part of this partnership, the Raheem Sterling Foundation will fully sponsor the scholarship programs for 14 people – seven in each of the two universities.

Applications will be open for young people in the regions of Greater Manchester and Greater London, with students given to apply for this scholarship for the next three years.

The first four scholarships as part of this program (two in each) will be available for students commencing their graduation degrees from the 2023/24 academic year.

This program strives to support young people from under-represented backgrounds to achieve their greatest potential.

It comes after a survey in 2021/22 showed that less than  5% of the children pursuing undergraduate degrees in the UK were Black.

The Englishman hopes that this scholarship program will be a ‘game changer’ for many, as he reflected on the partnership:

This opportunity will help young people access further education and present them with experiences and opportunities that will enhance their future career prospects.

I hope this initiative will be a real game changer over the next few years and I am delighted to be working with two of the finest universities in the world.

I wish the recipients of our funding all the very best and look forward to meeting everyone on campus in Manchester and London later this year.

But it’s not like Sterling has forgotten his roots in Jamaica either. He’s always looking to indulge in charitable efforts to empower those in the African nation.

Last year, the Raheem Sterling Foundation donated gear and other necessary football equipment to the Jamaican club Maverley Hughenden worth $3 million!

This includes boots, training kits and other items that were aimed to help the club in their preparations for competing in the Jamaican second division and other cup competitions as well.

In 2021, Sterling also linked up with New Balance to create a new brand of football boots that pay homage to the Jamaican club.

Sterling could be a polarizing footballer in England right now, but his impressive charitable efforts and work with his own foundation make him not just an admirable footballer, but a loveable human being.