Founded in 2013 and serving over 1,500 youth in Baltimore, the mission of P.O.P. Inc. is to develop athletes on and off the court through athletics, leadership, and education.
We recently caught up with Founder and Executive Director Rashida Ford on-site at P.O.P. Inc.’s launch of this year’s Freedom Schools Program. The summer initiative, now in its sixth year, affords student-athletes with risk factors the opportunity to grow academically through literacy engagement, develop athletically through competitive play, and advance as community leaders ready to make a difference.
The program’s ability to create safe spaces for all kids has enabled P.O.P. Inc. to enjoy a uniquely strong retention rate over the years. This has positioned its young athletes for sustainable emotional and social growth over time, which has seen many go on to become leaders themselves within the organization as well as in theirs schools and communities.
Offering a variety of sports, the program is staffed by passionate collegiate athletes who seek to motivate, inspire, and train student-athletes both on and off the court. Students enjoy free summer meals, weekly trips, swimming, STEM, and college exposure in addition to sports and reading.