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Q&A with Founder of the Steve Nash Foundation & Former NBA MVP and Coach

Steve Nash shares insights on his foundation’s focus on childhood, impactful programs, and ways individuals can support empowering young lives

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind starting your foundation and what led you to focus on this particular cause?

Growing up in Canada, from a very young age I saw the impact of contributing.  My parents modeled that for my siblings and me, and we really understood the importance of community and helping.  When we formed the Steve Nash Foundation, my family took time to really look at where we hoped to effect change; focusing on childhood was something that we all agreed on, primarily because we felt how deeply lucky we were to have had the childhood we enjoyed – a safe place to live, access to healthcare, education, arts and sports and time to just be kids.  We felt that if we could in any way increase those opportunities for others, that was a meaningful place to start.

Could you share some specific programs or initiatives that your foundation has implemented to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in underserved communities?

Early childhood has been a focus for the Steve Nash Foundation for over 15 years now – the return on investment during that prenatal-to-five years period is remarkable, and the science bears that out.  We were fortunate to team with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and others to bring Educare Arizona to Phoenix while I was playing there.  We’re now in our 13th school year, helping to provide Early Head Start and Head Start-eligible infants, toddlers and preschoolers with the highest quality start to life and learning; more recently, we helped create Let’s Talk Dads, to bring that science to new fathers. 

What are some of the most memorable success stories or moments you’ve experienced through your foundation’s work, where you’ve seen a significant change in the lives of the youth you’ve supported?

During the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Island community school in B.C. reached out – a teacher-librarian there had a very diverse student population, and knew how significantly her students were affected by both the pandemic and their awakening sense of social justice brought about by current events.  She wrote us with her concern that her library couldn’t support their needs, and could we help. That exchange sparked our READy platform, which works to both increase kids’ access to books that reflect their diverse demographics and perspectives, and provides public schools with social emotional learning curriculum and teacher training to promote empathy, equity and positive outcomes.

In what ways can individuals, communities, or organizations get involved and support the Steve Nash Foundation’s mission to empower and educate young people?

Lots!  From donating – and we have some great items to choose from at stevenash.org/assist – to using our age-and-stage READy book lists when you’re looking for something to read or gift, to coming out and volunteering or playing with us, we so appreciate people using their time and resources to help us grow health in kids. It really does make a difference.

Can you share some key features and benefits that users can expect to experience when using BLOCK, and how do you envision it making a positive impact on people’s overall health and well-being?

BLOCK is an evidence-based curriculum designed to create and integrate healthy habits to improve quality of life with each component. With the “Daily 8,” we created a purposeful, attainable entry point for just about everyone to start a movement habit – it’s eight minutes, we all have it, and with three intensities we can all achieve and repeat it. Our mental health offering is similar in that it begins with 30, 60 and 90-second evidence-based breathing protocols to combat stress, anxiety, lack of focus or mood, giving people accessible bite-sized routines that build into a habit of mental health management. And our sleep prep routines also contribute to changing behaviors. Being able to couple gains in movement, mental health and sleep can help cement some better habits through a more holistic approach – small investments in our own health that really matter.  

Learn more about the Steve Nash Foundation.

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