Gervaris Leaphart, SMFT student at Fort Myers is the most recent President’s Award recipient on his campus.
Gervaris has been working with the youth of SWFL for a few years now. He saw a need to encourage the kids in his neighborhood through athletics and sports, and started with sponsoring kids through Pop Warner and PAL leagues in 2011. In 2017, he started the VL Sports Foundation, which hosts basketball and football camps throughout Lee County. He is currently in the process of getting not-for-profit status for his foundation to enhance athlete participation. The foundation’s most notable event is a local basketball tournament with the motto “Grinding for Greatness” with an education first mindset.
There is a GPA requirement to play in this tournament and young players learn the value of education as well as develop the skills and drive to become top athletes and competitors. In 2018, Gervaris is taking his foundation to a new level when their non-profit status is obtained. His goal is to expand into more sports, and add some grant funding to provide scholarships to future student-athletes.